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Minister outlines communications law in parliament


THE Government has amended the Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 2021 following recommendation from the Bills and Legislative Committee.

Minister of Communication and Aviation, Peter Shanel Agovaka stated this when speaking on the second reading of the Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Agovaka said after an iterative sequence of consultation on the Bill, the Bill together with the corrigendum resulting from recommendations from the Bills and Legislative Committee, has become the final version of the Bill which will be tabled before parliament.

He said other issues highlighted during the BLC hearing are beyond the scope of this Bill and irrelevant to the purpose of this Bill.

“Other issues identified which were related to internet or content will be addressed in the proposed Cybercrime Bill which is currently in the drafting instruction stage,” he said.

The Bill is to amend the Telecommunication Act 2009 to register all prepaid SIM cards that are sold by service providers in the Solomon Islands.

It establishes the minimum age for purchasing SIM cards (15) and requires person to provide valid ID when purchasing SIM cards from the service providers or their agents.

The service providers and agents will be responsible for establishing and electronic registry for recording accurate information to identify the purchasers.

Minister Agovaka said in the corrigendum, section 78 H establishes the provision for sales of a prepaid SIM card to an organization.

He said the reason for the section is to establish a provision that  enables organisations to buy prepaid SIM card for work purposes.

Moreover, Minister Agovaka said specific IDs were also defined to authenticate the legitimacy and genuineness of companies who may want to buy prepaid SIM card hence avoiding fraud.

He said the corrigendum further establishes the provision to ensure that all SIM cards that are purchased before this amendment are registered.