Press Release: URCA releases public consultation document on National Alert Warning System Regulations

For Immediate Release

NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS (13 JAN 2023) – URCA is pleased to announce that it has released its Draft Regulations for the National Alert Warning System (NAWS) for the Electronic Communications Sector (ECS) in The Bahamas for public consultation.

Public Consultation Document ECS 01/2023 was crafted to facilitate a public warning system  consistent with the desire of the Government of The Bahamas to protect life and property.

The Communications Act, 2009 mandates URCA to further the interests of persons in The Bahamas concerning the electronic communications sector by maintaining public safety and security.

The Draft Regulations propose the Framework necessary to ensure that Participating Service Providers know what is expected of them to maintain the integrity of the network.

Specifically, the Draft Regulations codify which stakeholders comprise the NAWS network, which alerts are broadcast on the NAWS, who is responsible for creating the alerts and accompanying public safety messages, and the implementation timeline for the NAWS.

URCA Director of Electronic Communications Rupert Pinder said the importance of regulating the NAWS is critical given our history of natural disasters and emergencies.

“The proposed regulations will enhance the Public Warning System in The Bahamas and lay out for service providers and international intellectual property owners of existing smartphone technology the framework to provide consistent cooperation with the Ministry of National Security,” Pinder said.

“The NAWS would be a tool to warn others of danger, target specific communities and employ broad alerts in real time that could save lives, including the lives of children reported missing.”

URCA invites responses from all stakeholders, including the general public and other interested parties.

Responses must be submitted to URCA by 5 p.m. Tuesday, 28 February 2023.

The Consultation Document can be found here.


Media Contact:

Juan McCartney

Corporate and Consumer Relations Manager
Corporate and Consumer Relations Department
Utilities Regulation & Competition Authority
Telephone: (242) 396-5242