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Communications, broadcasting licenses revoked around the country
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Posted by:Dec 8th 2009, 05:36:45 pm
Fig Tree News TeamThree broadcasting licenses revoked
Tuesday December 08, 2009

By BRENT DEAN ~ Guardian Senior Reporter ~

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has revoked the broadcasting licenses of Jones Communications (Love 97 FM), Intercity Broadcasting Group (Mix 102 FM Grand Bahama) and George Harris, as well as numerous other communications sector licenses for failure to supply the regulator with existing license information by a specified date.

In an official notice published in local newspapers yesterday, URCA said license holders had three months from September 1 to supply the regulator with existing license information.

"The existing licensees listed below have either failed or refused to supply URCA with full details of their existing license," said URCA in the public notice.

"The existing licensees listed below are hereby notified that their existing license has expired in accordance with section 113(2) of the Communications Act, 2009 and that such license is hereby revoked with immediate effect."

In a statement released last night, URCA affirmed its position declaring that existing licensees who failed or refused to supply the regulator with the full details of their existing licenses, in accordance with the Communications Act, are now in breach of the law and no longer have licenses.

URCA emphasized that it is an offense to operate a network or provide a carriage service including by use of radio spectrum without a license. Those found in violation of the provision could be fined up to $500,000.

"The act says that every license holder is required to supply URCA with full details of existing licenses within three months and they weren't aware that we actually submitted the details of the license," said Chief Executive Officer of Jones Communications, Wendall Jones, yesterday when asked about the issue.

Jones said that he spoke with URCA's CEO and the issue is sorted out. However, he noted that his company was late in submitting the licensing details.

However, according to the URCA statement, all licensees that missed the deadline no longer have licenses.

Additionally, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and Satellite licenses of Jones Communications were revoked.

The ISP licenses were also revoked for Access Bahamas Limited, Century Communications Co. Ltd, Briland Wireless, Future Net Limited, Red Hot Communications, Island Wide Web, Integrated Data Solutions Ltd., Net Bahamas, Pro's Wireless Internet and Tripoint Software Solutions Ltd.

The satellite licenses were also revoked for Perry Institute of Marine Science and Shell Bahamas Ltd. (Clifton Pier).

URCA said it took numerous measures to ensure all license holders were informed and educated on the new regulatory licensing regime and the requirements.

"Over 1,700 license holders under the Telecommunications Act 1999 and/or the Broadcasting Act were mailed license information and requirements along with a full details form and a notice of objection form for submission within a three-month period," said the statement.

URCA also noted that it posted license information on its web site; it held various information workshops to educate and inform the public of all the requirements for licensees; and there were various advertisements placed in the papers and reminder notices giving the deadlines and stressing the importance for license holders to submit the necessary information before the November 30 deadline.

Those licensees who have had licenses revoked have been advised to contact URCA immediately.

Private land-base licenses were also revoked for about 100 license holders.

Some of the prominent names on this list include the Central Bank, Commonwealth Brewery, Jones Communications, Bahamas Food Services Ltd., Bahamas Faith Ministries, Esso Standard Oil, the Post Office Department, the Water and Sewerage Corporation, Sandals Royal Bahamian, the Grand Bahama Utility Company and the Bahamas Customs Department.

Tuesday December 08, 2009

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