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Government is not selling the orbital slots that Tonga has right to use.

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01st August 2014 The Minister for Justice, Hon Clive Edwards, said claims by the members of the opposition in Parliament and the Public Service Association that government is selling two orbital slots are incorrect.

“There is no outright sale. We do not have the right to sell the slots as we do not own them,” Hon Edwards said.

“We have the right to use the slots and the government does not have any right to sell these orbital slots because they only lease them, while the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) hold the rights towards these slots.

“It must be clear that the government has no right to sell the slots, we are only obliged to apply to register part of the allotted satellite orbital slot but never interfere with its management by ITU. Other countries such as Cyprus, France,Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, the United States of States of America, China and others also have the rights to slots that they lease out.”

He said government was involved in negotiations for the assigning and licensing the two slots 134 Degrees E and 138 Degrees E.

He said Cabinet had agreed on May 23 this year for the negotiation on the assignment and licensing of the two slots to continue between the government-appointed team and APT, the company interested in leasing the slots.

Cabinet approved then that the agreement for the outright sale of the two orbital slots was approved in principle, subject to the confirmation and final legal advice from the Attorney General’s Office.

On June 13 Cabinet granted final approval and endorsement for the agreements signed on May 31, 2014 for Tonga’s rights to the frequency filings of the two slots.

Hon Edwards said Government is not hiding anything, contrary to claims made by Mr Akilisi Pohiva in Parliament earlier this week.

“I do not know what he is talking about but what I believe is they do not know anything about the issue and they are misleading people,” he said.

“They go out and make allegations and then they think that government should correct those statements they have made.

“If they want to know the truth my office is always open and they can come here and talk to us and get to see the records so that they can talk about the truth.”

Hon Edwards also added that The new lease and licensing agreement made by government and APT for the two orbit slots being questioned by the opposition in Parliament will bring millions to the Kingdom of Tonga.

Hon Edwards said the last agreement made by the government in 2009 confirmed an agreement between TONGASAT and foreign satellite company APT to use the two slots for a limited period.

The new agreement means Tongasat will now hand over its interests in the slot back to the Government.

He said the new agreement will now see government earning an income from the deal annually.

“Now the government will be given two transponders with a revenue of US$450,000 a year and another payment of US$2.6 million,” he said.

“If the transponders are leased out, and APT has been commissioned to do this, the annual revenue will be US$1.2 million a year for the next 25 years.”


Issued by the : Ministry of Environment, Energy, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Meteorology, Information & Communication | P.O. Box 1380, Level 2, O.G Sanft Building, Nuku'alofa, Tonga. | Tel: (676) 28170 | Fax: (676) 24861 | Email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it |
Websites : www.tongaportal.gov.to | www.mic.gov.to | www.foi.gov.to

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 August 2014 16:52 )  

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