Indigo questions BTC monopoly

30 Aug 2007

Systems Resource Group (SRG), which operates under the Indigo brand, has filed litigation with the Bahamas’ Supreme Court questioning the legitimacy of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s (BTC) monopoly. In its filing SRG is reportedly objecting to restrictions on its licence which allow it to provide fixed line services to the islands of New Providence, Abaco and Grand Bahama only, and that forbid it from providing wireless services.

SRG is seeking a declaration from the court that any decision or statement by the Public Utilities Commission that BTC has an exclusive right to operate systems to provide international connectivity for voice telephony violates SRG’s fundamental right, guaranteed under Article 23 (1) of the Constitution of freedom of expression, particularly freedom to receive and impart ideas and information. The company is also seeking a declaration that it has the right to communicate ideas and information and to receive ideas and information by means of its own wireless network, free from any interference or hindrance which is not reasonably required for the purpose of regulating telephony or not reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.

In October 2002 SRG was awarded a 15-year licence to provide international and domestic voice telephony services in from 1 January 2004, in direct competition with BTC. SRG’s licence covers the islands of New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco only. Its licence also granted it exclusive rights to the 2500MHz-2690MHz part of the radio spectrum.

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