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TRCSL amendment Bill clears obstacles for the launch Starlink satellite services

By: Staff Writer

July 02, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is gearing up to launch “Starlink” satellite internet services soon following the approval given by Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) in accordance with the TRCSL amendment Bill.  

Starlink, a satellite internet constellation operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, promises to deliver high-speed internet to even the most remote corners of the globe.

This development will revolutionise the country’s connectivity, opening up new horizons, especially for youth. With faster and more reliable internet, for them can access global education resources, collaborate on innovative projects, and thrive in this new digital age

In a step closer to the introduction of Starlink satellite internet service in Sri Lanka, the Committee on Public Finance has approved the Sri Lanka Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill subject to amendments to ensure consumers are ensured the benefits from advanced telecommunication technology.

The current law is amended in this manner for the first time in 28 years, providing for the regulation of the industry in keeping with advanced technology.

State Minister Kanaka Herath said this bill, if enacted, would provide for regulation of satellite based internet services in the country among others.

A statement from the Parliamentary Media Unit said approval was given when the Committee met recently under the Chairmanship of Dr. Harsha de Silva with the presence of MPs from both sides, Officials representing the Attorney General’s Department, officials of Technology, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission and other institutions (TRC).

The Speaker recently announced that the Supreme Court has made recommendations regarding the Bill, suggesting that certain sections need to be amended.

Accordingly, the officials who were present stated that amendments recommended by Supreme Courts have been accommodated. They have stressed that the legislation has to be amended to be in line with the technological trends in the globe.

The officials also stated that this Bill was prepared after extensive discussions with all stakeholders in the telecommunication sector in accordance with the accepted standards of the world. Thus, in a more competitive market, there is scope for a regulation that is fair to the consumer.

It was also disclosed that the legislation will provide provisions to introduce a mechanism to provide telecommunication frequencies under a competitive system.

It was also disclosed that in addition to the existing telecommunication system licences and frequency licences, 3 other types of licences will be introduced. Accordingly,

It will provide provisions to issue licences to companies that provide infrastructure, in addition to the companies that provide telecommunication services.

The officials also stated that the powers of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission will be strengthened through these amendments.

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