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SpaceX urges India to facilitate satellite broadband, hints at bringing Starlink to India

Elon Musk's SpaceX urged the Indian government to facilitate approvals to use satellite technology for internet access in remote areas. "While existing telecommunications networks have performed well to meet [internet access] needs in many areas, billions that live in the most rural and remote areas, and even those in urban environments, remain on the wrong side of the digital divide. Powerful next-generation satellite systems flying today that can reach all corners of the country with high-speed, affordable service are critical to bridging this gap," Patricia Cooper, Vice President, Satellite Government Affairs at SpaceX, said in a filing with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Cooper was referring to Starlink, a constellation of over 4,400 satellites providing internet access at tens of megabits per second at reasonably low latency. Her comments came as a part of a TRAI consultation on enhancing broadband access and penetration in India. "A diverse mix of broadband technology platforms and service providers, including those new to India’s market, will best accelerate broadband access across the nation," she said. "SpaceX stands ready to discuss how innovation in satellite design, deployment and ground networks can support the country’s broadband goals." SpaceX's comments come at a time when Indian Space Research Organisation has floated a draft Space Communications Policy to replace the earlier Satellite Communications Policy. SpaceX pushes for rule changes to allow Starlink A common theme runs along SpaceX's recommendations: each of the changes it suggests would allow it to set up shop in India faster. New rules may be…

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