SA users of Starlink will be cut off at the end of the month

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Starlink Users in South Africa Face Service Termination Due to Violation of Terms

Starlink users in South Africa are encountering a significant setback as the satellite internet service provider issues a warning that their services will be terminated by the end of the month. In an email sent to numerous South African users, Starlink has stated that internet access will cease on April 30, citing a violation of its terms and conditions.

The email emphasized that utilizing Starlink kits outside of designated areas, as outlined on the Starlink Availability Map, is a breach of their terms. Consequently, users will only have access to their Starlink account for updates following the termination.

Starlink, a company under Elon Musk’s SpaceX, operates a constellation of low earth orbit satellites that provide high-speed internet globally. Despite its potential to transform connectivity, Starlink has been unable to secure a license to operate in South Africa from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Icasa’s regulations stipulate that any applicant must have 30% ownership from historically disadvantaged groups to be eligible for a license. However, many in South Africa have resorted to unconventional methods to access Starlink services, such as purchasing roaming packages from countries where Starlink is licensed.

Nevertheless, Icasa clarified in a government gazette last November that using Starlink in this manner is unlawful. Furthermore, Starlink itself highlighted in the recent email to users that the ‘Mobile – Regional’ plans are intended for temporary travel and transit, not for permanent use in a specific location. Prolonged use of these plans outside the country where service was ordered will lead to service restrictions.

Starlink has advised those interested in making its services available in their region to reach out to local authorities for further guidance.

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