Comments invited by Bermuda’s telecoms regulator in wake of proposed takeover of licensee

World on Wireless

The Regulatory Authority, the telecoms regulator for Bermuda, is inviting interested persons to comment on a proposed change of control of World on Wireless Limited (“WOW”).

The comments are invited against the backdrop of efforts by TeleBermuda International Limited (“TIL”) to purchase the wireless subscription-based television business of WOW. WOW is insolvent and was placed in liquidation in late 2021. The proposed move is, therefore, an attempt to increase TIL’s overall customer base while also having the effect of preserving several jobs at WOW.

WOW and TBI each hold an Integrated Communications Operating Licence (‘ICOL’). Under the applicable law, an existing licensee can’t take control of another licensee without first obtaining approval from the regulator – the RA.

The relevant section of Bermuda’s Electronic Communication Act – 18(6) – provides:

(6) An ICOL shall not be transferred or assigned, and may be terminated by the Authority in the event of any such transfer or assignment or if there is a change of control over the licensed entity unless the transfer, assignment or change of control is authorized in advance, in writing, by the Authority acting with the written consent of the Minister.

The window for offering comments is short. Comments must be submitted by March 11, 2022.

A copy of the invitation to comment is below. The original can be viewed on the ‘public consultations‘ section of the RA website.

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