Elon Musk, the tech billionaire, requires to mount antennas all over the world to realize his vision of a satellite-powered internet. A village in the northern France believes he can prefer to keep such antennas far away. The 350-person town of Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron isn’t overjoyed at being chosen as the ground station for Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband-from-space project.
“This is a brand-new project. Noemie Brault, a 34-year-old deputy mayor of the village only 20 kilometers from majestic Mont Saint-Michel abbey on the English Channel, stated, “We have no idea what the effect of these signals will be.” “The municipal council stated no as a safety measure,” she clarified. Musk, the creator of SpaceX, as well as Tesla, wants to launch thousands of spacecrafts to deliver high-speed internet to remote areas around the world.
He is in an increased-stakes fight with fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos and the London-based firm, OneWeb. The signals will be collected by ground antennas and relayed to specific user terminals via cable. Starlink’s contractor had already obtained regulatory authorization in France to construct nine “radomes”—three-meter-tall (10-foot) globes that shield the antennas—in Saint-Senier, is amongst four planned locations in France.
Saint-Senier released a decree in December banning buildings on the ground. The denial, however, was centered on a technicality, as well as the contractor, Sipartech, informed AFP that it intends to resubmit its proposal, which the council is unlikely to block. “That concerns us as we have no information” on the signals’ long-term impact on human and animal health, according to Brault, who is also a farmer. “And it’s scary when you learn he wants to insert a chip in people’s brains,” she added, referring to Musk’s Neuralink initiative.
Residents had a cause to be worried, according to François Dufour, a Greens council member, as well as a retired farmer. “We’ve seen all the hazards of electromagnetic waves which have high-voltage power lines, that have caused a number of farmers in the region to be disturbed,” he added. Besides, he argued, “social networks and the internet already exist—why do we have to go looking for internet on the moon?”
The ANFR, France’s national radio frequency agency, which authorized Starlink’s stations, claims that they pose no danger to people, not least because they will emit directly into the atmosphere. It adds that there are currently about 100 similar locations across France, dating back to the first satellite deploys 50 years ago.