Advanced Television

Starlink must stop serving Iran

October 30, 2023

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX’s unofficial broadband satellite service to Iran using Starlink must cease, the ITU along with US and Norwegian regulators have ruled.

The ITU (and in particular its Radio Regulations Board, RRB) took a decision on October 27th to state that the US and Norway – as the official notifying administrations for Starlink’s frequencies – must disable Starlink terminals in use in Iran and saying that their deployment was a clear violation of international regulations.

The Iran situation is somewhat complicated because Iranian government officials are alleged to have installed Starlink terminals in the country to prove that Starlink signals are available within Iran. Their installation is an illicit use of Starlink implies SpaceX.

The ITU’s RRB stated: “The information provided by [Iran] demonstrated that Starlink terminals were able to send transmissions from within its territory and that the satellite system was able to determine the transmissions of the satellite user terminals as originating” from Iran.”

“Stipulating in the terms of service with its customer that the utilisation of terminals in territories where they were not authorised was prohibited did not suffice to waive the satellite operator’s and service provider’s responsibility to disable the operations of terminals in such territories,” added the RRB.

The US and Norwegian authorities submitted to the RRB that the Starlink service in Iran was not allowed or authorised by SpaceX.

In the past Elon Musk has argued that deployment of Starlink in Iran was encouraged by the US State Department.

Categories: Articles, Broadband, Policy, Satellite

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