Tue. May 28th, 2024

Starlink users in South Africa are facing a major setback as the satellite internet service provider has issued a warning that their services will be terminated by the end of the month.

In an email sent to many South African users, Starlink stated that their internet access will cease on April 30 due to violation of its terms and conditions.

The email emphasized that using Starlink kits outside of designated areas, as indicated on the Starlink Availability Map, is against their terms. Consequently, users will only be able to access their Starlink account for updates after the termination.

Starlink, a company owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, operates a fleet of low earth orbit satellites that offer high-speed internet globally. Despite its potential to revolutionize connectivity, Starlink has been unable to obtain a license to operate in South Africa from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Icasa’s requirements mandate that any applicant must have 30% ownership from historically disadvantaged groups to be considered for a license. However, many in South Africa resorted to creative methods to access Starlink services, including purchasing roaming packages from countries where Starlink is licensed.

However, Icasa clarified in a government gazette last November that using Starlink in this manner is illegal. Additionally, Starlink itself stated in the recent email to users that the ‘Mobile – Regional’ plans are meant for temporary travel and transit, not permanent use in a location. Continuous use of these plans outside the country where service was ordered will result in service restriction.

Starlink advised those interested in making its services available in their region to contact local authorities.

By Joy

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