Elon Musk's Starlink internet venture granted Isle of Man base

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image source, ESA/NASA
image captionThe regulator has said the service could benefit those who have limited access to broadband

Elon Musk's satellite internet service Starlink has been given a licence to build a ground station on the Isle of Man.

It's part of the company's plans to deliver broadband internet around the world, using thousands of satellites.

The ground station will comprise a large dish which will send and receive data transmissions.

It would be the corporation's third base in the British Isles, the others are in Cornwall and Buckinghamshire.

Starlink is an off-shoot division of the billionaire's aerospace manufacturing giant SpaceX which has launched more than 800 satellites into orbit already.

Telecom analysts said competition for satellite broadband could help drive down the price for consumers.

A statement from the Department for Enterprise (DfE) said infrastructure was "already being commissioned on the island" and it was "excellent to see this project moving to the next stage".

The department also confirmed the company has been working with local operator BlueWave Communications.

Sue Strang of the Communications and Utilities Regulatory Authority said the extra service would most benefit those living in rural areas.

She said: "Starlink will potentially add more choice and switching options for consumers in the already competitive broadband market."

There are currently 11 licensed operators on the island, including Mantis and Optifi.

The DfE said the venture would "enable the deployment of satellite broadband services on-island and further afield".

It also said the licensing of the island's available spectrum would provide "more choice for local consumers" and had the "potential for further jobs within the island's telecoms sector."

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