The Public Utilities Commission has granted the only other competitive voice license to the one that is already issued to the public telecommunications company, BaTelCo, and in the process has followed through on its commitment to bring about competition in telecommunications services.

The license was granted to Systems Resource Group (SRG), parent company of Bahamas On-Line, and provides for the construction of a next generation wireless telecommunications network throughout New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco. SRG will be licensed to offer telecommunications services of every description, including high speed broadband Internet, local and international private networks, and most significantly, commercial voice services on expiration of BaTelCo’s exclusivity period on December 31, 2003.

The early move towards deregulation has been seen by many as the means to maintain a leadership role in the regional telecommunications sector. The commitment to competition should result in overall higher quality of service and lower prices across the board for telephone services, particularly international long distance.