Elon Musk’s satellite broadband venture Starlink’s move to pre-book customers has come under the scanner as the company has not yet taken necessary licences to offer services. Besides, the Centre is yet to announce the policy for satellite communication services.

DoT receives complaints

Top officials at the Department of Telecom said that some complaints have been received from industry bodies and consumer groups against Starlink, and are being examined.

For instance, Delhi based NGO, Telecom Watchdog, wrote to the Department of Telecommunications on September 29, stating that Starlink asking customers to pay a deposit of ₹7,350 so that they could be served on a first come, first serve basis, is akin to a Ponzi scheme to defraud customers.

Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink Country Director India, Space X, said in a social-media post that it would be easier for them to get approvals from the government if they receive a high number of pre-bookings from customers in India. As of October 1, pre-orders in India have crossed 5,000 customers.

Telecom Watchdog lays out a litany of allegations against Starlink in its letter to the DoT. According to their letter, Starlink has not received licences so far, and has started collecting money without even an application for a licence.

Moreover, according to them, there is no guarantee/ provision for a refund provided by Starlink to its customers in India, which means customers will not get their money back in case Starlink is not granted…

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