URCA: Disaster management regs for telecoms in first half of 2021

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority’s (URCA) regulations that will ensure critical infrastructure is available before, during and after disasters in The Bahamas should come into effect within the first half of 2021, URCA Regulatory Technical Advisor Charles Kemp said yesterday.

According to Kemp, the regulations document “Disaster Management Regulations for the Electronic Communications Sector in The Bahamas” outlines the critical electronic

communication infrastructure providers should install to ensure their networks are resilient enough to stand up to the natural disasters that threaten the country.

He said these regulations are especially important after the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian last year.

“After Dorian, it literally took months for one of the critical infrastructures to be restored in certain areas of Abaco and Grand Bahama,” said Kemp.

“What these disasters really do is disrupt national economies and severely weaken the poor and they become major impediments to sustainable development.”

According to Kemp, the regulations will establish a multi-stakeholder group that will be referred to as the Electronic Communications Task Group, which will assist URCA with determining approaches with regard to critical electronics infrastructure.

He added that the regulations will put in place measures to strengthen the critical infrastructure in The Bahamas. He added that from the regulations will come more robust cell phone networks and faster resolutions to downed telecoms services.

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, roaming agreements between mobile service providers were necessary to keep people connected.

Kemp said the regulations will also outline what national roaming agreements between phone providers will look like moving forward, in the face of a natural disaster.

He said these regulatory measures will promote better management of systems on a national level and reduce risk. 

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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