SpaceX Begins Crackdown On Starlink Usage In Unauthorised Regions

Consumers who use the service in unauthorised countries will access to the service deactivated by April 30

By Joseph-Albert Kuuire 2 Min Read

SpaceX has begun a crackdown on users who are connecting to its Starlink high-speed internet service from countries where it hasn’t been authorized.

Details

Starlink customers in Sudan, Zimbabwe, and South Africa have received email notifications from the company in recent days, warning that their access to the service would be terminated by the end of the month.

The emails were sent to users in areas where Starlink has not yet been fully authorised.

The availability of our Mobile Service Plans is contingent upon various factors, including regulatory approvals,” the emails said, referring to Starlink roaming products that allow subscribers to use its internet services in different countries.

Zoom Out

Starlink started operating its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) internet service in 2019. SpaceX has been rushing to get regulators around the world to approve the service.

Currently, Starlink has been authorised for use in 72 countries, according to the company.

Digging Deeper

Currently, middlemen purchase and activate Starlink kits in authorised countries and resell them to consumers to avoid restrictions. These middlemen purchase the company’s “Roaming” services to access its internet service.

Starlink said that its regional roaming plans “are intended for temporary travel and transit, not for permanent use in a location.” in its email to users.

Users who have been roaming on Starlink for more than two months without returning to the country where they ordered their device will see their service restricted.

Consumers in several African countries, including Sudan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been purchasing Starlink kits from middlemen for use in their countries.

In Zimbabwe, police had begun confiscating Starlink kits and arrested and fined some users.

Source: Wall Street Journal


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Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator, editor, and journalist at Tech Labari. Email: joseph@techlabari.com Twitter: @jakuuire
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