URCA Publishes Quality of Service Regulations for Electronic Communications Networks and Services

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (“URCA”), today issued its Statement of Results and Final Decision (ECS 41/2016) along with the finalised text of the Quality of Service Regulations, ECS 42/2016 (the “QoS Regulations”). The Regulations are applicable to holders of Individual Operating Licences (IOLs) that provide fixed or fixed wireless telephony services, cellular mobile voice and data services, and internet services, including both legacy services and next-generation services.

On 23 December 2015, URCA published its consultation document on “Quality of Service Regulations for Electronic Communications Networks and Services in The Bahamas”, ECS 06/2015, which invited comments from interested parties and the public. The period for submission of written responses and comments to the consultation document closed on 26 February 2016. During the consultation period URCA received written responses from Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. (BTC); and Cable Bahamas Ltd. (CBL). URCA appreciates and thanks the respondents for their participation in this public consultation process. This Final Decision and the accompanying QoS Regulations are made by URCA having reviewed and fully considered all responses to the consultation, and the publication of these documents conclude the public consultation.

The QoS Regulations are supplemental to URCA’s Consumer Protection Regulations as specified in ECS19/2013 issued on 26 May 2014. They are intended to give further effect to URCA’s duties outlined in sections 45 and 46 of the Comms Act. In addition to fulfilling the aforementioned duties, the QoS Regulations are aimed at implementing electronic communications policy objectives set out in section 4 of the Comms Act, in particular to enhance the efficiency of the Bahamian electronic communications sector and the productivity of the Bahamian economy, and to further the interests of persons in The Bahamas in relation to the electronic communications sector.