Press Release

8 September 2020

Press Release – Final Determination on the Review of Wholesale Broadband Access Services

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (“URCA”) has today published on its website the Final Determination on the Review of Wholesale Broadband Access Services under Sections 39 and 40 of the Communications Act, 2009 (ECS 13/2020). This Final Determination sets out URCA’s position on the need for ex-ante regulation of wholesale Dedicated Internet Access (“DIA”) services in The Bahamas.

URCA received feedback from Other Licensed Operators (“OLOs”) that the only regulated wholesale broadband product prior to this review, the Broadband Resale Offer (“BRO”), was inadequate. Instead, the OLOs relied on wholesale DIA services from The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (“BTC”) and Cable Bahamas Limited (“CBL”) to provide retail broadband services to their customers.

As a result, URCA commenced this review to assess whether there is a need for URCA to impose additional Significant Market Power (“SMP”) obligations on BTC and CBL beyond the current BRO regulation and, if so, what form of regulatory obligations are required on wholesale DIA services.

URCA published its Preliminary Determination to the review on 27 April 2020 setting out its preliminary views and to allow interested parties to respond. URCA received responses from the SMP operators, i.e., BTC and CBL, and the OLOs, i.e., Bahamas Wimax, Wicom Bahamas, Global Nexus, Coakster Wireless and Secure Hosting.

Based on these responses, URCA decided to focus its regulatory remedies on “PoP-based” wholesale DIA services, which provide connectivity from the SMP operator as far as an OLO’s Point of Presence (“PoP”). The OLO is then responsible for providing connectivity from its PoP to the customer.

 Having determined that both SMP operators have the incentive and ability to behave anti-competitively URCA imposed the following obligations, amongst others:

  • BTC and CBL shall continue to offer wholesale DIA products to OLOs as described above. At a minimum, the product offered by each Licensee must cover the service scope and configurations offered by the respective SMP operators at the date this Final Determination is published. Both Licensees are also required to meet any reasonable request from other Licensees for alternative bandwidths for PoP-based DIA or service specifications of their wholesale DIA services.
  • Within two months of the date on which this Final Determination is published, BTC and CBL shall submit to URCA for approval their proposed price and non-price terms for their PoP-based wholesale DIA services. BTC and CBL shall demonstrate that each proposed tariff is cost-oriented and clearly justify any material variations in the price and non-price terms and conditions of the wholesale DIA service offerings.
  • All Licensees will then be given the opportunity to comment on the proposed terms and conditions for the regulated wholesale DIA services.
  • Once approved by URCA, BTC and CBL shall then publish the tariff and non-price terms and conditions on their websites and additionally make such information available in other formats upon request.

The complete Final Determination can be found here.


Mavis Johnson-Collie

Corporate and Consumer Relations Manager

Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority

Telephone: (242) 396-5201

Facsimile: (242) 393-0153