Telecoms regulator Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) has ordered five of the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) to cease operating after they failed to renew their expired licences. In an official statement, public relations and consumer affairs officer Lotty Kakubo asserted: ‘The Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority has directed five ISPs in the country to cease their operations as well as providing the associated services, effective October 8, 2010’. The ISPs in question are Realtime Zambia, CopperNET Solutions, Microlink Technologies, Pronet Zambia and Zamnet Communications Systems. Kakubo said that this directive is inclusive of any other related services offered by the aforementioned companies. ZICTA also appealed to members of the public that may be affected by the closures to contact their respective service providers directly. According to ZICTA’s website, ISP licences are available for five-year periods, and can be renewed on a case-by-case basis, providing the service provider possesses the requisite spectrum. Including the expired licensees, Zambia is currently home to 13 active ISPs. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-2009 Zambia reported 10,702 broadband subscribers.