Starlink Internet Continues to Operate in Unauthorized Areas

Despite earlier warnings from SpaceX, Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service continues to operate in several countries without official authorization. In March, a Bloomberg investigation revealed widespread unauthorized use of Starlink terminals around the world.

Following the Bloomberg report and a similar report in the Wall Street Journal, Starlink emailed customers in several African countries announcing that it would restrict service to unauthorized areas starting April 30th.

User reports indicate that Starlink access remains available in places like South Africa, Botswana, and Sudan after the deadline. A survey of nearly 100 Starlink customers in South Africa found that 73% were still connected after May 1st. Service has been disrupted for some Sudanese users, but others say their Starlink internet continues to work without interruption.

Aid groups in Sudan are warning that restricting Starlink will severely impact emergency operations that rely on the internet service. Hadreen, a local charity, said, “Most emergency rooms and public kitchens and thousands of people rely on Starlink internet for survival.”

A resident of El Fasher, Sudan, told Bloomberg this week, “I’m talking to you right now through a Starlink connection. It’s the only way for people to communicate, especially those who have fled the war.”

According to experts, while Starlink can create virtual barriers for its terminals, cooperation with local regulators is essential for successful enforcement of geographic restrictions.

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