It is now possible to pre-order your Starlink reception equipment from the official website in France for $ 99, or € 82. The commissioning in our country is expected in the second half of 2021. But its access will be limited in number of users initially as we can see in the screenshot below:
A giant constellation, a local protest
Elon Musk’s constellation of satellites is also controversial. The mayor of the village of Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron learned that the Space X company wanted to set up a ground station with five radomes there.
He expressed his dissatisfaction in the media. The territory is located in the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and in an area classified Natura 2000. It fears negative impacts for the ecosystem and agricultural land.
A ground station is intended to serve as a relay for the satellites. It is made up of parabolic antennas making it possible to send and receive radio signals to satellites. There are already several in France, such as the Bercenay site which belongs to Orange or the Eutelsat teleport in Rambouillet.
In summer 2020, Starlink obtained authorization from Arcep to broadcast from three other ground stations in France: in Gravelines, in the North, in Villenave d’Ornon, near Bordeaux, and Belin-Béliet also in Gironde. The decision concerning Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron is more recent: it dates from last December.
However, Elon Musk intends in the future to rely on laser links between his satellites to reduce the number of ground stations. This will require him to get the green light from the FCC, in order to lower the orbit of the next satellites that will be launched. Amazon is formally opposed to this because it fears interference for its own satellites in the future.
Sources: France 3, Arcep, Starlink