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‘Cheeky’ POTRAZ says using  Starlink remains illegal; insists internet data cheaper in Zim

Business Reporter

THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) insists the usage of Starlink internet in Zimbabwe remains illegal despite indications showing the product is gaining widespread usage locally.

 The remarks come on the back of calls by quality internet starved consumers for the regulatory authority to just lower the market entry barriers.

Many contend that POTRAZ has to act now in the face of the inevitable penetration of Starlink Internet amid indications that the product is being smuggled into the country quietly and rapidly gaining widespread usage.

But in a statement, POTRAZ director general, Gift Machengete this week revealed that doors have never been closed on the US based internet giant.

“They have expressed interest to offer services in Zimbabwe and have been provided with all the relevant information for them to apply. They have not done so.This means that their service offering in Zimbabwe is illegal.

”Anyone found using Starlink in Zimbabwe will be in breach of the law and will face the consequences.

The public and key stakeholders should not fall into the trap of relying on flawed information aimed at unduly influencing policy and regulatory decisions pertaining to the provision of telecommunication services in Zimbabwe,” he said.

POTRAZ urged the valued stakeholders to verify all the information on Postal, Telecommunications and Courier Services with us , before treating it as fact as some may be malicious and may potentially induce undue panic and despondency.

He also dismissed claims that internet data remains unaffordably high in Zimbabwe.

“It is necessary to reveal that tariff comparisons that are done by POTRAZ are based on out of bundle tariffs or headline tariffs for the various offers in the region. This is because out of bundle charges are more reflective of the cost of providing services, which enables the authority to balance service affordability and operator viability hence it is the most objective criteria for comparison purposes.

“The authority refrains from using data bundles for comparison as this may be misleading. This is because bundled services are normally discounted and may come with freebies whose intrinsic value may be cumbersome to quantify,” he added.

Hence bundled services do not necessarily reflect the cost providing services , but are promotional inn nature as they are designed for business strategic reasons which include customer acquisition and retention./

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