In-flight internet: decision by French “Conseil d’Etat” on authorisation issued by Arcep


In a decision issued on Friday 28 June, the French "Conseil d'Etat" stayed the proceedings in Eutelsat's appeal against Arcep's decision of 22 February 2018 authorising Inmarsat to operate terrestrial relay antennas which it uses to market its in-flight Internet offer in France. The Conseil d’Etat refers several preliminary questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union. This subject was already brought before the Court of Justice in a ruling by the Brussels Court of Appeal in 2018. The issues referred to the Conseil d'Etat on behalf of Eutelsat confirm and support the questions raised by the Belgian court.

This decision by the Conseil d'Etat confirms the uncertainties raised by Eutelsat as to whether the Arcep decision complies with European regulations regarding the conditions for operating a mobile satellite system, as Eutelsat considers that this system should be predominantly based on a satellite system, and not on terrestrial relay antennas.

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