Telecommunications Regulation. BARBADOS Clarke Gittens Farmer

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1 Telecommunications Regulation BARBADOS Clarke Gittens Farmer CONTACT INFORMATION Debbie Fraser Clarke Gittens Farmer Parker House Wildey Business Park Wildey Road St. Michael, BB Barbados 1 (246) What is the name and nature of the regulatory body(ies) in your jurisdiction? To which bodies (if any) are decisions appealed? The regulatory body in Barbados is the Fair Trading Commission (the FTC). The FTC has the jurisdiction to enforce the policies established by the Minister with responsibility for Telcommunications pursuant to the Telecommunications Act, cap. 282B of the laws of Barbados (the Act); to regulate competition between carriers and service providers in accordance with the Act to ensure that the interests of consumers are protected; and to establish and administer mechanisms for the regulation of prices in accordance with the relevant legislation. Appeals from a decision or order of the FTC are made in relation to a question of law and to a Judge of the High Court. However, the FTC may on application or on its own motion review and vary or rescind any decision or order made by it. 2. Has your jurisdiction adopted the WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement? If yes, with what exceptions, if any?

2 Yes, Barbados has adopted the WTO Basic Telecommunication Agreement, under GATS/SC/9/Suppl. 1 and without any exceptions. 3. Are operators in your jurisdiction privately or publicly/state owned? Operators are privately owned. 4. What are the primary differences between the regulation of wire line, wireless, satellite, cable and VoIP providers? The primary differences between the regulation of wireline, wireless, satellite, cable and VOIP include: 1. the number of licences that is required for each service. For example, normally for wireless services, three (3) licences are required viz. Service Provider, Network (Carrier), and Spectrum licences. However, for VoIP services, any holder of a Full Domestic Licence, Full Mobile/International Licence or an International Licence may legally provide VoIP service in Barbados; 2. the services are either provided on the private or public telecommunications network. 5. Are broadcasters regulated separately from telecoms? Yes. Broadcasters are regulated by the Broadcasting Authority pursuant to the Broadcasting Act, cap 274B of the laws of Barbados. 6. How are satellite earth stations and submarine cable landings regulated? Satellite earth stations are regulated by Telecommunications (Satellite Television Receiver Antenna) Regulations, 2003 and the Telecommunications (Radio Communication Ship Station) Regulations, 2003; while submarine cable landings are regulated by Telecommunications (International Submarine Cable Licence) Regulations Both require licences to be issued but in the case of submarine cable landings, the prior written approval of the Chief Town Planner must first be obtained. 7. How is the radio spectrum generally regulated? Radio spectrum is generally regulated by the Telecommunications (Spectrum Management and Licensing) Regulations Spectrum users are required to obtain spectrum licences. 8. Are any operators granted exclusivity? The Telecommunications Act, cap. 282B of the laws of Barbados provides for the Crown to have exclusive right to provide telecommunications services in Barbados. However, this is subject to other provisions in the legislation. As it concerns major

3 licence holders, there is a sole provider for domestic landline service but this service is not pursuant to an exclusive licence. 9. Are anti-competitive practices subject to regulation or general competition (e.g., antitrust) laws? Anti-competitive practices and general competition are regulated by the Fair Competition Act, cap. 326C of the laws of Barbados and Protection Against Unfair Competition Act, cap. 329A of the laws of Barbados. 10. What services have been liberalized or designated as competitive services? These include: Cellular mobile, International, Domestic Fixed Wireless, Domestic Data, Submarine cable landing, Paging Providers, Internet Service Providers, Broadcast Spectrum, Value Added services. 11. Are there regulated tariffs or price lists? If so, for what types of services? Yes, there are regulated tariffs. Rates charged are calculated in accordance with the provisions of the Telecommunications Act, cap 282B of the laws of Barbados, the Utilities Regulation Act, cap. 282 of the laws of Barbados and the Fair Trading Commission Act, cap. 326B of the laws of Barbados. However, the Fair Trading Commission regulates the rates to be charged by a provider in respect of regulated services where there is one provider providing that service or the Minister finds as a question of fact that there is a dominant provider or the market is not sufficiently competitive. Price lists exists for Value Added Services/Service Provider individual licence; Value Added Service Provider class licence; Fixed and Mobile Satellite Services; Telecoms Access Bureau Services; International, Mobile, Fixed Wireless and Fixed Service and Network Providers. 12. Are there restrictions on foreign investment in any types of communications companies? If so, what are the restrictions? We have not identified any legislative restrictions. We however understand that in some instances local Investment is encouraged for at least 25% of a telecom company. 13. What are the approval processes for mergers and acquisitions? Do these vary by type of operator? The Fair Competition Act cap. 362 (FCA) of the laws of Barbados, Section 20 states that mergers which are likely to result in the control of forty (40) or more percent of any market in Barbados are prohibited unless permitted by the Fair Trading Commission (FTC). The FTC Merger Guidelines provide for the FTC s administrative and enforcement policy for dealing with mergers. Pursuant to the FCA, where an enterprise is desirous of effecting a merger it must apply to the FTC

4 for permission and the application must be accompanied by the prescribed information. Within three (3) months after the receipt of an application, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the FTC must determine whether to grant or refuse the permission and notify the Applicant in writing of its determination. Before granting permission, the FTC must conduct an investigation into the proposed merger in order to satisfy itself that the proposed merger would not affect competition adversely or be detrimental to consumers or the economy. The FTC must take several factors into account in conducting its investigation such as the structure of the markets likely to be affected by the proposed merger. Where the merger proposed is likely to result in unfair competition, the FTC may direct the enterprises within an agreed period to divest interests or part of their combined business or operations if the FTC is satisfied that such divestment would make the merger less likely to lessen competition or to affect adversely the interests of consumers or the economy. 14. Is interconnection between carriers mandatory? Interconnection services to a public telecommunications network is mandatory. 15. Are interconnection fees/rates regulated? Yes to the extent that the legislation makes provision for fees to be cost-oriented. 16. Must carriers make available network components to competitors? If so, what are fees/prices based on cost, or market rates? Yes. Fees are based on cost rates. 17. Is there an obligation to serve all customers? If yes, is there a fund to subsidize eligible carriers? Which carriers contribute to the fund? Which carriers are eligible to receive these funds? Are broadband services subsidized or otherwise promoted through tax or other incentives? Yes, there is an obligation to serve all customers, under the Universal Service Obligation pursuant to the Act. There is a Universal Service Fund comprised of contributions collected from all carriers and service providers which is used to subsidize eligible carriers. All carriers are eligible to apply for these funds. The Government of Barbados actively encourages investment in broadband services and offers an attractive incentives package, comprised of low tax rates, training grants and office accommodation at competitive rates. 18. Are there mandatory requirements to customer agreements (subscriptions, etc.)? We are not aware of any. 19. Are there any general or telecommunication specific requirements as to data retention?

5 We are not aware of any data retention requirements for telecommunication. There are requirements in respect of some industries such as banks and for tax purposes. The general practice is to retain documents for at least 7 years. 20. Is number portability mandatory? If so, for which types of carriers (e.g., wireline, wireless, voice over internet protocol)? No. 21. Is equal access dialing selection mandatory? If yes, for which types of carriers? Yes, for carriers providing international services. 22. Is access or other contributions ( ADCs ) required of new entrants? Yes. 23. Is VoIP regulated? If yes, to what extent? Yes. There is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) policy which describes the terms and outlines the techniques involved in VoIP technologies. 24. Are any major changes to telecommunications laws expected in the near future? Not to our knowledge. 25. Is resale of telecom services permitted? If yes, is this activity regulated? What is the process to become a reseller? Are foreign companies permitted to be resellers? Yes. The resale of telecom services is regulated by the Telecommunications (Resale) Regulations, A reseller is required to apply for a licence and foreign companies are permitted to be resellers.

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