The National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) has initiated measures to address unlicensed StarLink terminals within the country. Individuals utilizing the satellite internet service without proper authorization have been issued a strong warning.
Mr. Noel Mobiha, the Chairman of NICTA, has emphasized that any StarLink terminal operating in Papua New Guinea (PNG) without NICTA’s approval is considered illegal, regardless of its previous operation history. In light of StarLink being granted a five-year operator license in recent times, all terminals entering the country will now be subject to rigorous reporting and licensing procedures.
StarLink intends to introduce terminals under their operator license, with each terminal purchase accompanied by its license,” Mr. Mobia explained. The oversight of this process, ensuring transparency and accountability, will be carried out by NICTA. The chairman sternly warned those using unlicensed StarLink terminals: “Individuals operating these terminals unlawfully will face significant consequences.” He underscored that the new regulations aim to regulate this technology’s deployment and protect national security.
Furthermore, Mr. Mobia provided additional clarity on StarLink terminal access, emphasizing that it won’t be readily available upon request. “These devices are mobile, allowing them to be relocated. Our objective is to monitor their location and movements to promote responsible internet usage,” he emphasized.
Addressing these concerns, the ICT Minister, Hon. Timothy Masiu, has confirmed the Government’s dedication to regulating new technologies. “Our ministry is responsible for meticulously examining all technologies entering our country. Safeguarding our national interests is our top priority,” he stated.
He praised NICTA for its strong position and reinforced the unlawful status of any unlicensed StarLink terminals. “Those using these terminals are, as of now, violating the law,” he stressed.
This action by the Government indicates a proactive stance in handling the arrival of technologies like StarLink. These stricter regulations aim to find a middle ground that allows for technological progress while ensuring national security and control over essential infrastructure.