Press Release: Final Determination (ECS 15/2020) – Consultation on the proposed changes to the Reference Access and Interconnection Offer published by The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited

For Immediate Release

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (“URCA”) has today confirmed its decision to approve the terms and conditions upon which The Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (“BTC”) will permit direct mobile interconnection for Other Licensed Operators’ (“OLOs”) traffic. Direct mobile interconnection is a wholesale service that OLOs must have to physically link their networks to BTC’s mobile switch and to route and exchange traffic. Today’s decision requires BTC to incorporate the updated terms and conditions for the service into its Reference Access and Interconnection Offer (“RAIO”) and provide URCA with a copy for review and final approval.

In The Bahamas, the practice has been for OLOs to interconnect their networks directly to BTC’s fixed network. URCA, however, introduced direct mobile interconnection in 2016 as part of a package of measures to support cellular/mobile liberalization in The Bahamas. The decision required BTC to install the service using an IP-based signaling protocol and to do so on terms and conditions specified in BTC’s URCA-approved RAIO. The decision specified the timeframe in which BTC must implement the new links for Be Aliv Limited’s (“ALIV”) traffic and submit the service terms and conditions to URCA for consideration.  Amidst concerns about disruptive outages of ALIV’s network interconnection with BTC’s fixed network, in July 2019, URCA issued an Interim Order for BTC to install direct mobile links for ALIV’s traffic. On 9 July 2020, BTC confirmed the availability of the service for ALIV’s traffic and provided a copy of the proposed service terms and conditions.

URCA, having assessed BTC’s terms and conditions, published Preliminary Determination ECS 09/2020 on 17 August 2020 setting out its initial views and to allow interested parties to respond. The respondents to the consultation (BTC and Cable Bahamas Ltd. (“CBL”)/ALIV) offered no objection to URCA’s preliminary views. URCA finds BTC’s terms and conditions complete and compatible with the overall framework of the Communications Act, 2009 and other regulatory measures.

BTC is required to submit its RAIO incorporating the updated service terms and conditions (set out in Section 3 of the Final Determination) to URCA for final review and approval by no later than November 30, 2020.

Publication of this Final Determination concludes URCA’s public engagement with stakeholders on this matter. The complete Final Determination (ECS 15/2020) and related documents 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