Telecommunications Amendment Act 1999

Link to law: http://www.bermudalaws.bm/Laws/Annual%20Laws/1999/Acts/Telecommunications%20Amendment%20Act%201999.pdf

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Telecommunications Amendment Act 1999
TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

1

BERMUDA
1999 : 17

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

[Date of Assent 18 June 1999]

[Operative Date 18 June 1999]

WHEREAS it is expedient to amend the Telecommunications Act
1986:

Be it enacted by The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Assembly of
Bermuda, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Citation
1 This Act which amends the Telecommunications Act 1986 ("the
principal Act") and may be cited as the Telecommunications Amendment
Act 1999.

Repeal and replacement of sections 21 and 22 of the principal Act
2 Sections 21 and 22 of the principal Act are repealed and the
following substituted—

"Duties of Carriers
21 (1) Subject to this section, it shall be the duty of every
Carrier—

(a) to furnish telecommunication service upon any
reasonable request therefor and on reasonable
terms and conditions;

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

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(b) to establish interconnection with other Carriers
upon reasonable request and on reasonable
terms and conditions;

(c) to establish through routes upon reasonable
request and with reasonable rates and charges;

(d) to establish and provide facilities for operating
such through routes upon reasonable request
and in accordance with reasonable rules;

(e) to maintain the confidentiality of any customer
or other Carrier information;

(f) to refrain from any act or practice intended to or
likely to have the effect of lessening competition;

(g) to refrain from marketing practices or
advertisements which are false or misleading in
a material respect;

(h) to provide other Carriers access to support
structures including telephone poles, under-
ground conduits and communications towers
upon reasonable terms and conditions;

(i) to maintain existing services unless permitted by
the Commission to discontinue such service;

(j) to display in a conspicuous place in the
licensee's principal place of business or in such
other place as may be specified in writing by the
Minister every licence granted under this Act or
other authority deemed to constitute the grant of
a licence to establish, maintain or operate a
public telecommunication service in such a
manner that all terms and conditions subject to
which the licence is granted are visible and
legible; and

(k) to furnish to the Commission, in such form as
may be specified by the Commission, copies of
all agreements between Carriers including any
amendments to any existing agreement between
Carriers either before execution of such
agreement or not later than ten days after the
execution of such agreement.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

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(2) A Carrier shall comply with a request under
paragraph (1)(a), (b), (c) or (d) within thirty days of the request or
such longer period as the Commission may allow.

(3) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(k) any Carrier that
is party to an agreement may furnish a copy of the agreement to
the Commission on behalf of all the Carriers that are party to the
agreement.

(4) Upon receipt of a copy of an agreement under
paragraph (1)(k) the Commission shall within ten days either
indicate its approval of such agreement or its intention to
enquire into the agreement.

(5) Where the Commission approves an agreement and
informs the Carrier in writing of such approval, the agreement
shall either be executed within seven business days by all parties
or remain in force as the case may be.

(6) If the Commission decides to enquire into any
aspect of an agreement the Commission shall conclude its
enquiries as expeditiously as possible and in no case in more
than thirty days or such longer period as the Minister may allow
and give a direction—

(a) approving the agreement;

(b) approving the agreement on a provisional basis;

(c) changing the agreement in whole or in part; or

(d) suspending the agreement or postponing the
date upon which the agreement is intended to be
executed to such other date as may be specified,

and the Carriers shall comply therewith.

(7) Where a Carrier has established to the satisfaction
of the Commission that an existing service is unprofitable or
loss-making, the Commission shall not refuse permission to
discontinue that service unless—

(a) the Commission considers that it is in the public
interest to refuse permission, having regard to
the utility of the service, the availability of
suitable substitutes and the degree of reliance
on the service by the public or segments of the
public; and

(b) the Commission is satisfied that the Carrier will
be adequately compensated for the loss involved

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

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in continuing the service by the rates and
charges it charges for other services it provides.

(8) No Carrier may disconnect another Carrier without
the consent in writing of that Carrier or the Minister.

(9) A Carrier may only seek the permission of the
Minister to disconnect another Carrier if—

(a) that Carrier fails to settle its accounts due
within a period of thirty days after receipt of a
written warning notice and within a further
period of thirty days after receipt of a written
notice of intention to seek permission for
disconnection;

(b) that Carrier fails to comply with any term of the
contract or agreement for the provision of the
service;

(c) that Carrier fails to conform to the agreed
technical specification for the provision and
operation of the service; or

(d) there is other just and reasonable cause for
disconnection.

(10) A Carrier which seeks the Minister's permission to
disconnect another Carrier shall give notice to the Minister in
writing not less than thirty days before the date of the proposed
disconnection, informing the Minister of the reasons for the
proposed disconnection, and the Minister shall forthwith refer
the matter to the Commission for enquiry and report.

(11) Upon referral of a matter to the Commission under
subsection (10), the Commission shall conclude its enquiry as
expeditiously as possible and report to the Minister with
recommendations within twenty days of the date of referral by
the Minister.

(12) The Minister shall render a decision on a proposed
disconnection of one Carrier by another within thirty days of
receipt by the Minister of the notice by the Carrier under
subsection (10).

Enquiry into failure of a Carrier to discharge a duty
22 (1) A person other than a Carrier who is aggrieved by
the failure of a Carrier to discharge a duty to which it is subject
by virtue of this Act or any regulation or directive of the Minister

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

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or the Commission may make a written complaint on that
account to the Commission and shall provide a copy of the
complaint to the Carrier concerned.

(2) As soon as possible after the receipt of a complaint
under subsection (1) the Commission shall investigate the matter
and if the Commission is satisfied on the evidence submitted
that there are prima facie grounds for the holding of an enquiry,
the Commission shall hold an enquiry and shall report thereon
to the Minister.

(3) On receipt of a report under subsection (2) the
Minister may, after giving due consideration to the report, give
such directive to the Carrier as he thinks fit and the Carrier shall
comply therewith.

(4) A Carrier aggrieved by the failure of another Carrier
to discharge a duty to which it is subject by virtue of this Act or
any regulation may make a written complaint on that account to
the Commission and shall provide a copy of the complaint to the
Carrier concerned.

(5) Upon receipt of a complaint under subsection (4)
the Carrier against which the complaint is made shall
immediately attempt to resolve the dispute, but any party to the
dispute may request the assistance of the Department in
resolving the dispute.

(6) If the dispute is unresolved within thirty days after
the complaint is received by the Carrier against which the
complaint is made, any party to the dispute may submit the
dispute to the Commission for resolution, or the parties to the
dispute may—

(a) jointly agree to further negotiation or mediation;
or

(b) jointly agree to submit the dispute to binding
arbitration in accordance with the provisions of
the Arbitration Act, 1986.

(7) In the event the dispute is referred to the
Commission pursuant to subsection (6), the Commission shall
enquire into and render a decision on the dispute within forty-
five days from the date of the referral.

(8) In its decision the Commission may direct one or
more of the parties to take such action as is necessary to comply
with the requirements of this Act and the regulations.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDMENT ACT 1999

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(9) The Commission may upon the recommendation of
the Department or of its own initiative investigate any complaint
made by a Carrier under subsection (4) and render a decision on
the dispute and give such directive as the Commission thinks fit
and the Carrier against which the complaint has been made
shall comply therewith.".

Insertion of new section 61C in principal Act
3 The principal Act is amended by inserting immediately after
section 61B the following:

"Liability of Commission
61C No action, suit, prosecution or other proceedings shall lie
against the Commission, the Chairman or any member thereof
or any person acting on behalf of the Commission in respect of
any act or omission done or made in good faith in execution or
intended execution of any function under this Act.".