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Sri Lanka Grants Preliminary Approval for Starlink’s Satellite Internet Services

State Minister of Technology, Kanaka Herath, announced that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has granted preliminary approval for Starlink to provide satellite-based internet services in the country.

During a special media briefing held today (June 6) at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC), the State Minister emphasized that a two-week period has been allocated for a formal public consultation process regarding the approval of this internet service. Following this period, the TRCSL will take steps to implement the service in Sri Lanka.

The minister highlighted that this initiative will deliver fast internet service to various sectors including education, research, tourism, fisheries, and agriculture, while also providing global access.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe discussed expediting the application process to connect Sri Lanka with the Starlink network during his participation in the high-level session of the 10th World Water Conference in Indonesia, where he met with renowned businessman Elon Musk. Consequently, Starlink has received approval to provide internet services via satellite technology.

Currently, approximately 2,000 Starlink network centers are operational worldwide, providing high-speed internet access to 32 countries.

Starting today, we are collaborating with Starlink to provide internet facilities via satellite technology, marking a significant transformation in the technology sector. Unlike the limited internet facilities provided by towers, this satellite-based technology allows for internet connectivity from virtually anywhere. This represents a major advancement in the field of technology.

This internet facility offers significant benefits to education, research, tourism, agricultural, and fisheries sectors by delivering the fastest internet service through this innovative technology. The TRCSL has approved Starlink to offer satellite-based internet services. A fourteen-day period has been allocated for public consultation, and action will be taken within two weeks following this consultation period.

Under Section 22 of the Telecommunications Act, internet services will be provided via satellite technology. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed that a relief package be made available to school children, fishermen, and researchers to ensure they can access this internet service. Plans for implementing this relief package are currently being prepared.

Director General of the TRCSL, Madusanka Dissanayake, stated that while Starlink is not yet established as a telephone network company in Sri Lanka, it has been approved under Sections 17 and 22 of the Telecommunications Regulatory Act, granting it a frequency license. The Act will be amended in the future to issue a Telecommunication Service Provider license.

The initial setup or registration cost for this service ranges between USD 400 and USD 600, with a monthly fee of USD 99. The satellite technology allows for internet access anywhere in the world and offers speeds several times faster than the existing fiber technology in Sri Lanka. This will significantly enhance the technology sector in the country.

Secretary of the Ministry of Technology and Research, Dr. Dharma Sri Kumaratunga, also attended the event.

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