New Undersea Cable License Offered To Local Bermuda Consortium

By Scott Neil

Bermuda has moved a step closer to a more competitive market place for internet and international telecommunications after Government announced late yesterday that it is prepared to offer a consortium of domestic companies a licence to install a new undersea cable connecting Bermuda and North America.Three Bermuda companies, namely North Rock Communications, Transact and KeyTech – parent company of the Bermuda Telephone Company, joined together under the name Cable Company to apply for the new licence in September. The companies wish to own and operate their own undersea telecoms cable as a way of by-passing the need to buy capacity from carriers Cable and Wireless and TeleBermuda International on existing cable networks. In a statement yesterday, Minister of the Environment, Telecommunications and E-Commerce, Neletha Butterfield, said that an evaluation of the Cable Company application for an International Public Telecommunications Licence and Foreshore Licence had been completed.

The Minister has accepted the recommendations of the Telecommunications Commission and is prepared to offer Cable Company Limited the new licence, according to the statement.

“The Minister is also satisfied that the intended marine approach of the cable minimises the distance it will traverse shallow water and avoids sensitive marine environments as much as practically possible; she will therefore also recommend to the Minister of Works and Engineering that he award Cable Company Limited a Foreshore Licence,” read the statement.

The licence is subject to the acceptance of the terms and conditions as prescribed in the tender document in addition to the commitments made by Cable Company in its proposal. Once awarded, the licence will enable the consortium to construct and operate a new submarine cable, connecting Bermuda to North America.

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