GCRA proposes granting of telecoms licence to Starlink

9 Jun 2022

A proposed decision to grant a telecommunications licence to Ireland-registered Starlink Internet Services Limited has been published by the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority (GCRA). In a press release regarding the matter, the watchdog noted that its proposal comes after receiving an application from Starlink for permission to establish, operate and maintain a telecoms network and provide fixed communications services – specifically satellite user terminal network and ESIM services – to customers in Guernsey.

In its application, Starlink said it intends to provide high speed, low latency satellite internet services to Guernsey customers through its low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications constellation. Its service will reportedly provide downlink in excess of 100Mbps and uplink speeds of 80Mbps, utilising low power user terminal devices that are sold directly to customers. Starlink also proposes to provide ESIM services on platforms in motion (e.g. ships or aircraft). Meanwhile, Starlink proposes using satellite spectrum in the Ku band for its offerings, in accordance with the Satellite (Earth Station Network) Licence issued to it by UK communications regulator Ofcom; that concession allows the company to use satellite spectrum for this purpose anywhere in the UK and Channel Islands.

According to the GCRA, its proposed decision to grant Starlink a licence is consistent with a previous decision made in March 2022 on a framework for licensing gateway earth station and user terminal network satellite services in Guernsey. Having published a copy of the proposed licence, the GCRA is now seeking any comments regarding the matter by a deadline of 15 June 2022, and has said the proposed decision will become final from 22 June ‘unless otherwise notified’.

Guernsey, Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority (GCRA), Starlink Internet Services Limited (Ireland)