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Concerns over Starlink application in Botswana

By , ITWeb Africa Contributor
Botswana , 08 Feb 2024
Elon Musk, Starlink founder.
Elon Musk, Starlink founder.

The application of low-orbit satellite provider Starlink to operate in Botswana is fraught with uncertainties.

The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) is alleged to have rejected the application, halting the SpaceX-owned service's ambitions to launch internet operations in Q4 of this year.

According to reports, Starlink failed to furnish the regulator with "all necessary information."

BOCRA has responded to media reports about a licence application from "a certain global satellite operator."

"BOCRA informs the public that in line with good corporate governance practice coupled with the principle of confidentiality espoused in the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA Act, 2012 ), the Authority is not at liberty to discuss details of a licence application with anyone else other than the applicant," Aaron Nyelesi, Director: Broadcasting and Corporate Communications, stated.

He stated that, contrary to media reports, BOCRA has not rejected any satellite licencing applications.

Nyelesi stated that the consultation process was proceeding in accordance with the requirements of the CRA Act.

It mandates BOCRA to "Protect and promote the interests of consumers, purchasers and other users of the services in the regulated sectors, particularly in respect of the prices charged for, and the availability, quality and variety of services and products, and where appropriate, the variety of services and products offered throughout Botswana, such as will satisfy all reasonable demands for those services and products."

BOCRA has informed the public of its commitment to carrying out its duty of promoting growth and efficiency in the delivery of communications services by facilitating and encouraging private sector investment and innovation in the regulated sector.

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