Paratus welcomes ZICTAs crackdown on illegal internet providers

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Paratus welcomes ZICTAs crackdown on illegal internet providers

A crackdown on unregulated internet service providers (ISPs) that threw the country’s internet system into chaos this week has highlighted the importance of companies using legitimate data providers, according to one of the country’s largest licensed ISPs, Paratus Telecom Zambia.
Businesses across the country faced turmoil, with slow internet speed hampering some payment transactions and halting email flows after the Zambian Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) directed ZESCO to disconnect all Illegal International Transit Operators.
“Unregulated international internet providers are operating below the radar, not paying taxes, and putting local providers at a disadvantage,” said Paratus Country Manager Marius Van Vuuren, who estimated that the outage could have caused tens of millions of kwacha’s worth of lost business to firms who were unable to make reliable connections.
“We welcome ZICTA’s bold move to stop this practice and urge organisations to ensure that they only entrust the internet connections that are so vital to their business to licensed and regulated providers,” he said, adding that Pararus was fully compliant with ZICTA regulations and had points of presence across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa that are owned itself to ensure security of service provision.
Following investigations, on Wednesday (March 15) ZICTA directed ZESCO to cut access to unlicensed international Data Transit operators who were illegally offering electronic communication services to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) within Zambia using the ZESCO infrastructure, contrary to Section 9 of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act No. 15 of 2009.
According to Section 9 of the ICT Act, it is against the law for any firm or individual to operate or provide an electronic communications network without a licence issued under the Act.
“It is important to note that companies engaging in such conducts deprive government of the much needed revenue as they do not pay tax since they are not registered entities in Zambia,” said ZICTA in a statement.
“Tax avoidance is illegal, and we therefore, urge companies operating in the ICT sector to legalise and normalise their operations and follow laid down procedures as stipulated by laws governing the sector.”
The Paratus Group entered Zambia in 2010 and has rapidly established itself as the go-to provider for connectivity, hosting and data security solutions; capitalising on its international expertise and infrastructure to deliver the best services locally with the local touch.

About Paratus Telecom Group
Paratus Telecom Zambia is part of the Paratus Telecom Group, the largest privately owned Pan African telecoms operator with its head office in Windhoek, Namibia. Paratus Telecom in Zambia was founded as Internet Technologies Zambia in 2010.
Since inception, Paratus Telecom has established a network extending to major industrial and commercial centres throughout Zambia, with additional international points-of-presence located in Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa), Gaborone (Botswana), Windhoek (Namibia), Luanda (Angola), Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (DRC), Lisbon (Portugal) as well as London (UK).
Paratus Zambia was issued with a Service Provider License by the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) in 2011. Paratus Telecom provides exceptional communication service to the corporate sector of the Zambian market.
Visit http://www.paratustelco.zm

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Gillian Langmead at Langmead & Baker Ltd
Tel: +260 979 060705
Email: info@langmead.com

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+260 979 060705
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Paratus Telecom (Sunningdale, Lusaka)
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