Tomorrow, the Minister of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy Marc Bean will initiate a process designed to move the electronic communications industry closer to full alignment with 21st century best practices and strengthen Bermuda’s reputation as a customer friendly international business jurisdiction.
Minister Bean will launch a pre-consultation process covering a range of important proposals that will enable the conversion of the current public telecommunications licences to Individual Communications Operating Licences (“ICOLs”). Completion of this process will be a critical step towards implementing the Electronic Communications Act 2011 (“ECA”) in January 2013.
The ECA creates a new regulatory framework designed to promote increased competition, stimulate product and service innovations and widen consumer choices in this critical sector. This new framework will differ in significant ways from the model that is currently in place.
Every firm in Bermuda that provides “electronic communications” – a term that covers a broad range of telecommunications, Internet and subscription audiovisual networks and services – needs to take this opportunity to learn, raise questions and seek a full understanding of the potential impact of the new regulatory framework on their business.
This includes not only current licence holders but also, for example, hotels, guest houses, hospitals, alarm companies, and Internet cafes, as well as “closed user groups,” companies with private networks and private pay telephone providers.
Commenting on the pre-consultation process, Minister Bean said: “This is an important stepping stone for implementing the ECA and I encourage all interested parties to participate actively in these pre-consultations.”
A public forum on this subject to discuss the preliminary recommendations contained in the pre-consultation documents will be held on Friday, 19th October, from 9:00am – 12:30pm at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, Victoria Room. Participation by industry stakeholders and the general public is welcome.
There will be three separate pre-consultations covering the following issues:
- ICOLS: The scope and form of Individual Communications Operating Licences that will be converted from the existing Public Telecommunications Services and subscription radio and television licensees;
- Class Licences and Exemptions: The scope and form of electronic communications services that will be authorised under a class licence framework or be granted licence exemptions; and
- Market Definition and Significant Market Power: Economic analysis of the relevant markets and assessment of the need for regulation.
Copies of these three documents will be available on the Department of Telecommunications website at www.mtec.bm
The deadline for the submission of public and industry responses to the two licensing pre-consultations (ICOL’s and Class Licences and Exemptions) is 14th November, 2012.
The deadline is 21st November for the Market Review pre-consultation. A full schedule may be found on the Department of Telecommunications website www.mtec.bm For further information please contact Nakia Smith, Regulatory Administrator at the DOT via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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