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Ex-Starlink India head plans a white paper on broadband, poverty

Elon Musk’s Starlink is facing issues in dealing with the licensing framework of India and it has to refund all the money paid for the pre-bookings. Following the DoT order, the company’s country head Sanjay Bhargava stepped down from his position. Bhargava decided to retire and has now revealed his retirement plans.

In a LinkedIn post, Bhargava mentioned that he is planning to write a short whitepaper on India’s future in the broadband ecosystem. The title of the short whitepaper is self-explanatory: “Good Broadband Pan India by Dec 2023 & Ending Poverty by 2030. Is this possible?”

In his post, he also shared his concerns that his new work could be construed in a manner which he doesn’t intend.

Here’s what Bhargava’s post says, “I have always tried to give back to India by blaming no one and inspiring everyone over the last seventeen years. As I retire, I am thinking of writing a short whitepaper on “Good Broadband Pan India by Dec 2023 & Ending Poverty by 2030. Is this possible?” My concern is that even though my intentions are good my words will be twisted, and all kinds of motives will be ascribed even though my only motive is to provoke thinking to achieve the METRO’s (Measurable Timebound Real Outcomes) outlined in the title. There are so many brilliant minds in India, so my hope is, that these outcomes will be achieved even if I am retired and do nothing Will you read the whitepaper, should I decide to publish it. If yes, then please like this post. The number of likes will be one of the factors I consider as I decide to publish or not to publish. My tentative deadline to publish is January 15, 2022. I have turned off comments.”

Starlink has been planning to launch satellite internet in India and had even taken bookings from around 5000 Indian customers. However, DoT recently asked the SpaceX-owned company to refund all the amount back to consumers. Starlink will need to procure the necessary licenses before it starts selling its service in India.

Once launched, Starlink has the capability to compete with the likes of Airtel and JioFiber broadband. The service aims to provide broadband connectivity in remote areas of the country with the help of its satellites. Starlink will have a unique advantage in this regard as SpaceX is continuously investing in satellites. BGR

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