AN UPDATE TO THE USE OF STARLINK IN THE FALKLAND ISLANDS. PART 4, CONSUMERS SPEAK, THE PETITION

In September 2022, the history behind the £5,400 VSAT (Starlink) licence fee.  In Part 1, The Ascension Island Story, I outlined the history of Starlink adoption on Ascension Island. Part 2, The Falkland Islands Enigma, focused on the Starlink situation in the Falkland Islands. Part 3 broadens things by proposing a workable digital service strategy that provides a win-win solution for consumers, businesses, FIG, and Sure Falkland Islands.

In Part 4, I’d like to bring things up to date to May 28th, 2024, with a high level of media activities on Starlink adoption.  A lot can happen in a week! Again, thank you to the islands’ vibrant media!

Updates

On May 27th, 2024, Traighana Smith of Falkland Islands Radio (FIRS) interviewed MLA Mark Pollard about the hot topic of the moment, Starlink.

Roger Spink, MLA, discussed consumer self-provision of VSATs in an interview with Falkland Islands Television (FITV).

MLA, Roger Spink, talking to FITV about self-provision

Despite the seriousness and high emotion surrounding Starlink’s possible adoption, this shows that there is still an excellent sense of humour!

Starlink packaging on the islands’ rubbish dump.

Starlink’s recent Mobile – Global pricing policy is creating real urgency for formal approval of Starlink in the islands.

Starlink’s recent pricing policy change.

Listen to the People

This month’s major event is launching a petition following the Attorney General’s recent email, shown in Part 2, which warns that possible users of an illegal Starlink terminal could face prosecution. However, the people speak.

The petition’s text is shown below. Forms have been widely distributed throughout East Falklands, West Falklands, and MPC. The results will be announced next month; from what I understand, they should prove quite interesting.

Petition-NEW-18.05.24

The Petition.

The signing locations are:

East and West Falklands Camp
FPS- Mail Room
West Store
The Waterfront
Teaberry Café
Shorty’s
FIGAS
Pro Install
Rose’s Café
Chandlery
Chandlery Express
Stanley Services
Southern Imports
The Rose
The Vic
Plumbing & Electrical
Store
West Store MPC
Port Howard
(Club & Store)
Southern Cross Club
Fox Bay Store
Goose Green

It seems that the Petition has become so far-reaching that employees of the Falkland Islands Government have been questioning whether they are permitted to sign it without breaking the FIG Code of Conduct guidelines. I assume it became such an issue that the Chief Executive needed to send a “Dear Colleague” email to all FIG employees, giving them permission with caveats.

By the end of the week, this had become such a big issue that it took up the whole front page of the 24th of May 2024 issue of Penguin News.

On May 24, 2024, Kris Ball of Falkland Islands Radio (FIRS) interviewed Brian Jameson about the Petition’s objectives.

The Kris Ball FIRS interview with Brian Jameson.

This issue will not go away without a consumer fight, so I will update OpenFalklands on what happens in the coming weeks and will publish the petition’s results as soon as they are available.

On May 28, 2024, Traighana Smith of Falkland Islands Radio (FIRS) interviewed MLA Mark Pollard about the hot topic of the moment, Starlink.

Chris Gare, OpenFalklands May 2024, copyright OpenFalklands

 

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