Sri Lanka approves amendments to allow elon Musk starlink to operate.

Sri Lanka’s parliament approved changes to a longstanding telecommunications law on Tuesday, paving the way for Elon Musk’s Starlink, the satellite internet division of SpaceX, to commence operations in the country.

Key Developments:

  • Legislative Change: The telecommunications bill, amended for the first time in 28 years, was passed without a vote.
  • New Licences: The amendments introduce three new types of licenses, permitting Starlink to enter Sri Lanka’s telecom market as a licensed provider, pending regulatory approval.
  • Satellite Internet Providers: The original law lacked provisions for satellite internet services, necessitating these amendments.

Government Statements:

  • Technology Minister Kanaka Herath: Highlighted that this opportunity is not exclusive to Starlink but open to any company willing to invest in Sri Lanka’s telecom sector.
  • IT Sector Growth: Emphasized the goal of expanding the IT industry to a $15 billion sector by 2030, with a focus on enhancing internet access, especially in rural areas.

Starlink’s Proposal and Approval:

  • Initial Proposal: Starlink approached Sri Lanka in March to propose setting up operations.
  • Preliminary Approval: Sri Lanka granted preliminary approval to Starlink in June, expediting the process.

Licensing and Tariffs:

  • Licence Tariff: Starlink will be required to pay a tariff for the license, though specific details were not disclosed.

This legislative change marks a significant step towards enhancing internet connectivity in Sri Lanka, aiming to boost the IT sector and attract international tech companies to the region.