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Online content provider registration starts next month

Online content provider registration starts next month

THE Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has until next month to start registering and issuing licenses to online content providers.

Communication and Information Technology Minister, Faustine Ndugulile on Wednesday instructed the communications watchdog to begin registering online and radio owners now instead of June as earlier earmarked by the authority.

Dr Ndugulile, who is on an official tour of the region, noted that a great deal of youth had been rendered jobless following the suspension of issuing licences to online content providers, pending thorough vetting and scrutiny of the outlets.

“Much as the ban is still in effect, June is still very far to start registering the platforms…TCRA have until next month to start issuing the licences,” directed the Minister when he toured the authority’s northern zone office.

Dr Ndugulile was, however, quick to stress the importance of registering providers who will comply with the Electronic and Postal (Online Content) Regulations of 2018.

The registration requirements under the Regulations shall apply to all application service licensees, bloggers, internet cafes, online applications and platform operators, online content hosts, online forums, online radio and television and any other related online content.

“Some of the online platforms are started for the sake of attracting viewers and blatantly violate the online content regulations, these will not be spared this time round,” warned the minister.

Dr Ndugulile, however, challenged the communication’s regulator to start reviewing some of the legal frameworks governing the issuance of the licenses and fees, arguing that some were too harsh on the online content providers.

TCRA had in December last year, suspended the issuance of licences to such providers, pending their vetting.

In the same vein, the minister challenged TCRA to address customers’ complaints in a timely and orderly fashion.

He further tasked the regulator to start availing him with quarterly reports of complaints and grievances from the customers.

Earlier, TCRA Northern Zone Manager, Imelda Salum told the minister that her office was well on course to surpass the revenue collection target this financial year.

According to Ms Salum, the regulator had so far collected 810m/- while the target stood at 1.27bn/-, which equates to 78 per cent.

During his day long tour, the minister also visited Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL) and the Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC).

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Author: EDWARD QORRO, Arusha

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