By Public Notice the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has opened consultation on the issuing of “Fixed and Cellular Mobile Licences” to the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (BTC).

A notice appearing in the local media reads:


The purpose of this consultation is to present for public comment, the Commission’s proposals for the licensing of the successor company to the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (Batelco). The successor company will be known as the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) in accordance with Section 22 (1) of the Telecommunications Act, 1999 (Tel Act).

The Government of The Bahamas is seeking a strategic investor in BTC, which will provide technical and financial resources, management capabilities, and develop human resources to enable the company to attain the highest levels of international and national competitiveness and provide world-class telecommunications services in The Bahamas.

Following the vesting of Batelco’s operations in BTC, an Interim Licence was issued to BTC on September 4, 2002 in order to authorise the new company to continue to provide the same telecommunications services previously provided by Batelco. This Interim Licence is in all material respects the same as the licence on which Batelco operated and on which the Commission had carried out a public consultation in September, 2000.

The Commission intends to grant two separate licences to BTC in relation to the establishment, operation and maintenance of fixed and cellular mobile telecommunications systems and the provision of fixed and cellular mobile services in The Bahamas. The licences will be granted to BTC on the conclusion of a sale of shares in BTC to the strategic investor. Separate licences will be issued for telecommunications systems and services provided by BTC that are excluded from these licences.

Members of the public and interested parties, including bidders interested in becoming a strategic investor in BTC, are now invited to obtain copies of the Public Consultation Document including the draft Fixed and Cellular Mobile Licences from the Office of the Commission and to submit written comments by no later than December 13, 2002 to:

E. George Moss
Executive Director
Public Utilities Commissioner
P.O. Box N4860
Fourth Terrace East, Collins Avenue
Nassau, The Bahamas
Telephone: (242) 322 4437
Fax: (242) 323-7288

The Government currently owns 100% of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and is seeking a strategic partner for the sale of a 49% stake in the company, and transfer of management control.