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HomeNewsInternet disruptions: Govt to license satellite firms as backup – Hon. Ursula...

Internet disruptions: Govt to license satellite firms as backup – Hon. Ursula Owusu

The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that the government will promptly license satellite firms to serve as a backup for mobile network operators, following the disruption in their services.

Since Thursday, March 14, Mobile Network Operations (MNOs) have experienced disruptions, leaving many Ghanaians without internet connections.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful disclosed this plan while updating Parliament on the situation in Accra on Monday.

“With regard to the use of satellite as an alternative, it is important to note that the bandwidth of a satellite backup for network operators cannot replace the capacity that has been lost due to the outage. Satellite backup for consumers is more feasible.

“However, the cost is relatively much higher than the terrestrial solutions. Immediate initiatives that the government will undertake is that we will license satellite gateway air stations, London rights, and satellite air station network. One web has already been licensed.

“Starlink is in the process of being licensed, and other operators are being encouraged to land in Ghana. We must also invest in operationalizing RASCOM, the regional African satellite company instead of each company of each country going it alone.”

She further stated that “All network operators must arrange and implement alternative routes to restore full services as they are currently doing. Organizations and enterprises are also encouraged to host their content, databases, applications, and services in at least 2 tier 3 or 4 data centers in different locations.

The Minister also recommended that public organisations utilise the National Data Center as a backup disaster recovery alternative, stating that “And public organizations must utilize the National Data Center as either their primary or backup recovery disaster recovery data post.”

The National Communications Authority (NCA) in December last year issued a stern warning against the use and sale of Starlink internet services, declaring its operations illegal.

The NCA confirmed that it had neither licensed Starlink nor approved any of its equipment for use within the country.

Starlink, a satellite internet service provided by SpaceX, aims to provide high-speed, low-latency internet access to underserved areas around the world, including Ghana.

A statement issued by the NCA on Thursday, December 7, stated that; “The attention of the National Communications Authority (NCA) has been drawn to the alleged sale of Starlink equipment and its operations in Ghana. We wish to inform the general public that, the NCA has neither licensed the operations of Starlink in Ghana nor type-approved any of their equipment.”

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