Newly Revised National Spectrum Plan (NSP) now available for consultation

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has published on its website, the consultation document for the National Spectrum Plan (2019 – 2022). Section 31(4) of the Communications Act (Comms Act) requires that the plan is revised every three years. The NSP is formulated in collaboration with the Government and is intended to further the objectives of the Electronic Communications Sector Policy. It establishes the methods URCA will employ to facilitate the use, management and monitoring of radio frequency spectrum in The Bahamas.

A key feature of the NSP is the proposed reopening of the Standard Spectrum Bands which are currently specified as ‘closed’.  URCA is of the view that the opening of spectrum bands will serve as an enabler for The Bahamas to take advantage of opportunities that could lead to economic and social growth by further developing the country’s communications infrastructure and ecosystem.

The opening of the spectrum band will also facilitate new technological innovations as envisioned by the ITU and defined under the umbrella of the International Mobile Telecommunications 2020 (IMT-2020) and beyond.  According to the ITU, IMT-2020 and beyond is a standard that will underpin the next generations of mobile broadband including, among other things, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and other “Smart Cities” technologies.

The NSP also sets the framework for URCA’s implementation of FM Broadcasting Technical Standards and its work on ICTs for Disaster Management Regulations, ICTs for Disabled Citizens and the Digital Switchover.

Radio frequency spectrum is the medium by which radio, cellular and other wireless communications are transmitted between remote areas.  It is used for thousands of applications critical to the existence of any country and the quality of life of its citizens.  As a result, spectrum has been identified as a limited state resource/asset and must therefore be used efficiently and effectively so that it remains an available production input for service providers.  The more common applications for spectrum use include:

  • Telecommunications;
  • Aeronautical and maritime;
  • Broadcasting (Audio & Video)
  • Emergency services
  • Medical electronics
  • Remote control and monitoring

URCA is mandated through the Comms Act to manage, allocate and assign all radio spectrum frequencies in The Bahamas in a manner that is efficient, effective, fair, transparent and economical.  The 2019 – 2022 NSP provides the framework for achieving that objective but also ensures that the country is in compliance with any applicable international treaties, commitment or standards including those of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Respondents are encouraged to review the Plan in its entirety and submit responses to the document to URCA by 5:00 p.m. on 26 April 2019.

Persons may send their written responses or comments to URCA’s Chief Executive Officer, either:

  • By hand to URCA’s office at Frederick House, Frederick Street, Nassau; or
  • By mail to P.O. Box N-4860, Nassau, Bahamas;
  • By fax to (242) 393-0153; or
  • By email to

For a full read of the document click on the link below.

ECS 02/2019 – Consultation on the National Spectrum Plan (2019 – 2022)