Award of new VSAT concessions prompts confusion among rivals

4 Sep 2012

According to Congolese website Radio Okapi, three internet service providers (ISPs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – namely Cybernet, Raga and Vodacom Congo – have been officially issued with very small aperture terminal (VSAT) concessions, freezing out a further seven satellite broadband providers which are already known to be operational in different parts of the country. Citing internal documents belonging to the Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecommunications (ARPTC), the award of formal licences is a measure that seeks to ‘clean up’ the ad hoc operating framework currently used to supervise satellite broadband usage in the DRC. A representative of one of the unsuccessful companies, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that all of the firms which have been overlooked are in possession of valid concessions, and claimed that the trio of new licence-holders have paid the government up to USD150,000 apiece for the privilege of continuing to operate.