URCA Tells Cable Bahamas “NO” to basic fee increase!

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URCA denies Cable Bahamas application for a permanent price increase for SuperBasic

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) has denied Cable Bahamas Limited’s (CBL) application for a permanent price increase for SuperBasic [REVTV Prime] cable television (TV) services. In a Statement of Results and Final Decision [URCA document reference ECS 02/2013] released on February 11, 2013, URCA provides an analysis of the final decision which considers representations made by interested persons (including CBL) in response to the public consultation, and the provisions of the Communications Act 2009, the Electronic Communications Sector (ECS) Policy and other relevant regulatory documents and measures.

On December 1, 2011, CBL submitted to URCA, an application requesting a 27% increase in its monthly charge for the price regulated service, comprising a per month price increase of $8 for residential consumers and $13.50 for commercial customers. Both requested increases were denied. URCA finds that in the current circumstances the approval of CBL’s application for an increase in the price of its SuperBasic television package would be contrary to the achievement of the overall objectives of the electronic communications policy. Affordability considerations formed the basis of the decision and concerns regarding service quality were also expressed.

On the affordability issue, URCA’s major concern continues to be that, in the absence of compliance by CBL with its universal service obligation (USO) to provide affordable Basic Television Services to all populated areas and specified institutions in The Bahamas, there is no lower-priced alternative available…

For a copy of the full press release you may download the below PDF document. Also available below via document link, is the Statement of Results and Final Decision,including responses submitted by CBL and members of the public, to the consultation.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is no doubt the right decision. Cable Bahamas provides terrible service in addition to showing up as and when they wish. Cable Bahamas should fix the issues chronically complained about by the public and once done, then and only then, be considered for an increase. Kudos to URCA. One for the Bahamian people.

  2. Many thanks to URCA for helping the public to afford TV watching. Some of us could hardly afford cable TV, let alone an increase… with the requested price increase CBL was making television a “luxury” rather than a necessity …. I was going back to full-time radio and use my imagination like I did growing up in the ‘Big Yard’.

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