ECS 01/2020 FINAL DETERMINATION AND ORDER Issued to: The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (‘URCA’) issues this Final Determination and Order to The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (‘BTC’) in relation to changes made to BTC’s Flow TV channel line -up effective 1 December 2018 and 1 January 2019. The changes consisted of the following:


  • BTC added two channels to its Flow TV channel line-up effective 1 December The channels added were Discovery World and Discovery Theater.
  • BTC removed six channels from its channel line-up effective 1 January The channels removed were Big Ten Network, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports Racing, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, and BBC America. 1


BTC’s Flow TV products are offered on both a standalone basis and as part of a bundle. Because the Flow TV products are bundled with BTC’s fixed voice services which are price regulated, the bundles are subject to the Regulation of Retail Prices for SMP Operators Rules (ECS 06/ 2014),2 (also referred to as the  Retail  Pricing  Rules or the  Rules).  The modifications listed above con st itut e changes to the non -price terms and conditions of a Price Regulated Bundle, therefore, BTC must obtain URCA’s written approval before introducing such changes. Additional ly, the Consumer Protection Regulations 3 require BTC to give customers not less than one-month’ s notice of any proposed modification, amendment or variation to a contract which is likely to be of material detriment to the customer. BTC’s Individual Operating Licence (IOL) mandates  BTC  to adhere to specific regulatory obligations and any determination made by URCA.


Despite these obligations, BTC advertised the changes to the public and implemented them without receiving URCA’s prior written approval. As a result of BTC’s actions, URCA commenced an investigation to determine whether or not BTC breached its obligations. URCA issued a Preliminary Determination to BTC in the matter of: Breaches of the Retail Pricing Rules  and  Other M easures (ECS 70/2019) on 6 November 2019. BTC responded on 10 December 2019.