Elon Musk's Starlink to Enter Telecoms Market of Sri Lanka After Changing Decades-Old Law

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jul 10, 2024 04:07 AM EDT

Sri Lanka has approved changes to its telecommunications law to allow Elon Musk's Starlink to establish operations in the South Asian nation.

According to Reuters, the country's parliament passed amendments to the decades-old law without a vote on Tuesday, marking the first update in 28 years.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk (L) arrives to inaugurate satellite unit Starlink at a community health center in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali on May 19, 2024.
(Photo : SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP via Getty Images)

Sri Lanka Welcomes Elon Musk's Starlink

The new bill introduces three types of licenses, which will enable Starlink to become a licensed service provider pending regulatory approval. Technology minister Kanaka Herath noted that this opportunity is open to any company interested in investing in Sri Lanka.

Herath explained that the government's goal is to expand the IT sector into a $15 billion industry by 2030, which includes attracting international firms to offer internet access, particularly in rural areas. 

READ NEXT: SpaceX's Starlink Deployment Deal in Ukraine Valued at Around $23 Million: Report 

License Tariff of Starlink

Starlink's proposal was initially presented in March, and the country granted preliminary approval in June after an expedited process.

The original law did not accommodate satellite internet service providers, making this amendment crucial for modernizing Sri Lanka's telecom sector. Herath said that Starlink will be required to pay a license tariff once it is fully approved but did not provide details. 

READ MORE: Sale of Elon Musk's Starlink Terminals Is Flourishing Through the 'Black Market,' Making Them Fall Into the Wrong Hands

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