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POTRAZ orders Starlink to switch off service in Zimbabwe

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has ordered Elon Musk’s Starlink to switch off their service in Zimbabwe until they are fully licensed to operate.

As the regulatory authority furthers its crackdown on the service’s use, Starlink has been forced to comply as seen in an email sent to various clients accessing the service through its roaming feature.

Surprisingly Potraz Director-General Dr Gift Machengete had previously indicated that the regulatory authority had no plans to restrict the satellite internet provider owned by Elon Musk.

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Starlink stated to customers, informing them of the POTRAZ directive to suspend services in Zimbabwe. In the notice, Starlink expressed its commitment to working with POTRAZ to obtain the required approvals for operating in the country. The customer was encouraged to contact POTRAZ to voice support for Starlink’s approval in Zimbabwe.

“You are currently using Starlink in an unauthorized territory. As a result, Starlink has been directed by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to disable your service. We will continue to work with POTRAZ to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to turn on Starlink services in Zimbabwe as soon as possible. We encourage you to contact POTRAZ at the. [email protected] or +263 242 333032 to communicate your support for Starlink to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals in Zimbabwe,” part of the notice reads.

Starlink advised the client to pause service and billing or to continue using it in a country outside Zimbabwe where it is approved. They also assured the client that as soon as it is given the green light to operate in the country it will let them know.

“You may pause service and billing by following the instructions here or continue service and use your Starlink service in an area we currently serve (see map here). If you opt to pause service, you can reach out to support and we will issue a service credit for any remainder of the current billing period. As soon as we receive regulatory approvals to turn on Starlink services in Zimbabwe, we will let you know,” the notice from Starlink concludes.


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