The Member of Parliament for the Bunkpurugu constituency, Abed-nego Bandim, has waded into the fracas between Starlink and the National Communications Authority (NCA).
The NCA, in a recent statement, issued a stern warning against the use and sale of Starlink internet services in Ghana, declaring its operations illegal.
Starlink is a satellite internet service provided by SpaceX that aims to offer high-speed, low-latency internet access to underserved areas worldwide, including Ghana.
In a statement, the MP argued that the NCA’s statement, warning the public against patronizing Starlink’s services, is not sufficient. He advised that Starlink should be brought to the discussion table to help regularize its operations.
“It is not enough issuing statements to notify and warn the general public against the operations of Starlink. In the instant NCA press release which has gone viral, ordinary folk in the countryside where rural telephony is lacking are reportedly using Starlink’s services to carry on with their lives. Starlink should, therefore, be brought to the discussion table with the aim of getting them to regularise their operations.”
“After all, what is wrong with making a phone call or using the internet to prepare your classroom lesson notes in the rural Nakpanduri/Bunkpurugu district within my constituency – if it is available from whichever source? Consequently, the national security implications of the instant matter cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, the NCA must wake up now and become more proactive rather than reactive.”
He criticized the NCA for failing to address the Starlink dilemma squarely in its statement, calling on the GRA to assist in tax auditing of companies in the ICT sector.
“The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), on the other hand, should also assist via tax auditing of companies in ICT; the NCA cannot afford to lose out on licenses and other regulatory fees as a result of illegal activities within the ICT space.”
“Starlink has been in orbit since 2019, a period of four years when the NCA has been caught belly up and only stargazing. Worst still, their press release failed to address squarely the instant Starlink dilemma.”