Mining firm fined for using unlicensed Starlink

Trust Freddy Herald Correspondent

A Guruve mining firm has been fined US$700 for unauthorised use of Starlink, a satellite internet service owned by the American Space X company that is not licenced to operate in Zimbabwe.

The company’s action was found be a violation of Zimbabwe’s telecommunications regulations, which require all internet service providers to obtain a licence from the Government.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe, the San He Mining company in Guruve was ordered to pay a US$700 fine by a Bindura Magistrate for contravening the Postal and Telecommunications Act by “willfully possessing and or operating a radio station without a license or authorisation from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz),” the NPA said in a statement.

“On December 5, the police received a report from Potraz to the effect that the company was using Starlink equipment. The police proceeded to the mine where they recovered the Starlink router and antenna.”

This development comes just two weeks after Potraz issued a warning that anyone distributing or advertising Starlink gadgets would be subject to arrest.

Starlink is yet to be formally registered in Zimbabwe, but some companies have been advertising the internet services kits, particularly on social media sites such as Facebook, although connections and use of Starlink would be in violation of the law.

Recently Potraz also arrested an illegal commercial courier, Macrotop Zim (Pvt) Ltd based in Msasa, Harare after it was found to be illegally delivering parcels to customers.

Potraz director-general Dr Gift Machengete said two customer receipts were confiscated after being produced as proof of payment to collect parcels.

In Zimbabwe a company needs a licence to operate in the telecommunications or courier sectors and authorities are currently waiting for Starlink to submit the relevant information that is required by the regulator.

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