The Bahamas

ETC Activities

The Bahamas is an archipelago in the Caribbean region of over 700 islands with an estimated population of 389,482. The islands are vulnerable to storms and floods during the annual hurricane season from June to November, frequently impacting on its people. The capital and largest city is Nassau, with a population of 255,000. The Bahamas can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it share with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The official language of the Bahamas is English and many people speak English-based creole. Haitian Creole is spoken by Haitians who make up approximately 25 per cent of the total population.

On 1 September, Hurricane Dorian - a category 5 hurricane - made landfall on the northern islands of the Bahamas and a second landfall on Abaco island as the strongest hurricane in the Bahamas' history, causing extreme flooding as well as power and connectivity outages. At least five people have been killed as Hurricane Dorian continues to move westward over Grand Bahama at approximately 1mph, stalling over the island. 

WFP has deployed one staff member to the Bahamas to support initial assessments which are expected to start on 4 September, coordinated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). A number of ETC partners are currently in Barbados conducting a training exercise for CDEMA. Some of these partners will be deployed to assist response efforts in the Bahamas. The Crisis Connectivity Charter is being activated to ensure satellite equipment is readily available in the most affected areas to support initial response efforts.

 

Contacts

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) EOC

Address: Gladstone Rd, Nassau 

Contact: +1(242) 322-6081

TELCO focal points

BTC - Brian Jacques +1(242) 4570178

Aliv - Julian Dean +1(242) 816-7583

 

Humanitarian responders on the ground

Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Port Managers Association of the Caribbean (PMAC), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCA), World Food Programme (WFP), Map Action, Pacific Disaster Centre (PDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the US Coast Guard.

Current Operations
Asset 681
Emergency
Key Documents
Minutes
Asset 767
Minutes
Asset 767
SitRep
Asset 772
SitRep
Asset 772

ICT Profile

Country background
Country name
The Bahamas
Capital city
Nassau
Name of national disaster management agency

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) 

Name of telecommunications ministry

Department of Information Technology (DIT)

Name of telecommunications regulator

Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA)

Population

385,640

Source: World Bank 2018

Country narrative

The Bahamas is comprised of 700 islands in the western Atlantic Ocean, just to the south east of Florida, and north east of Cuba. The Bahamas is exposed to a similar range of natural hazards as much of the remainder of the Caribbean region, including hurricanes sourcing from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. In addition to wind hazards, many coastal areas are vulnerable to storm surge and wave damage. The islands are also subject to earthquake risk, though at a low level and related to earthquake source zones to the south.

Source: CCRIF 

Currency
INFORM RISK SCORE

2.2 (low)

Source: INFORM Risk 2019

INTERNATIONAL CALLING CODE

+1242

INTERNET COUNTRY CODE

.bs

ELECTRICAL STANDARD

Voltage: 120V, Frequency: 60Hz, Plug type: A, B

LOCAL UN/NGO ICT WG IN PLACE

No

CWC WG IN PLACE

No

LOGISTICS PROFILE INFORMATION

None

Key ICT statistics
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

29.4

Source: ITU ICTeye 2017

Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

99

Source: ITU ICTeye 2017

Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

20.8

Source: ITU ICTeye 2017

Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants

60.8

Source: ITU ICTeye 2017

GSMA mobile connectivity index score

70.3 (medium-high)

Source: GSMA Intelligence 2017

3G coverage % of population
Regulations and rules
Description

This describes some of the regulations and rules related to the use of emergency telecommunications equipment in the Bahamas.

Regolations/Rules
Type of regulation
Disaster management
Description

The enactment of Chapter 34A Disaster Preparedness and Response Act in 2008 set the basis for the current normative framework for disaster management in the Bahamas, consolidating National Emergency Managment Agency as the national agency responsible for disaster relief management in the country.

Type of regulation
Telecommunications
Description

An Act to create a new legal regulatory framework for telecommunications in The Bahamas to remove monopoly rights of The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation and to establish a licensing regime for telecommunications. 1. This Act may be cited as the Telecommunications Act.

Type of regulation
Telecommunications
Policy name
Description

Not a signatory to the Tampere Convention.

Type of regulation
UAV
Description

According to the Bahamas’ national aviation authority, the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA), flying a drone is legal in the Bahamas. Drone regulations should be complied with. 

Communications service providers
Mobile network operator (MNO)
Company name
Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)
GSMA HCC signatory
No
Parent company name (majority holding)
Bahamian Government
Service description
BTC is the primary telecommunications provider for the Bahamas, headquartered in Nassau, New Providence. It is partly government owned and offers telephone, internet and wireless services.
Mobile money service available
Yes
Fibre optic network
Yes
Voice and SMS services
Yes
3G/4G data services
Yes
Mobile network operator (MNO)
Company name
Aliv
GSMA HCC signatory
No
Parent company name (majority holding)
Cable Bahamas Limited
Service description
The Bahamas’ newest LTE network is Aliv.
Mobile money service available
Yes
Fibre optic network
Yes
Voice and SMS services
Yes
3G/4G data services
Yes
Internet service provider (ISP)
Company name
Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)
Service description
BTC is the primary telecommunications provider for the Bahamas, headquartered in Nassau, New Providence. It is partly government owned and offers telephone, internet and wireless services.
Fibre optic network
Yes
Internet service provider (ISP)
Company name
Bahamas Global
Fibre optic network
No
Fixed line operator
Company name
Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC)
Company description
BTC is the primary telecommunications provider for the Bahamas, headquartered in Nassau, New Providence. It is partly government owned and offers telephone, internet and wireless services.
Broadcast radio
Country name
Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (BCB)
Radio station name
ZNS Bahamas
Official public broadcaster
Yes
Service description
ZNS remains the only radio station today with broadcast coverage of the entire country. The BCB was established by Parliament to operate radio and television services throughout The Bahamas.
Band
AM and FM
Broadcast frequency
1540 AM; 107.9 FM; 810 AM; 104.5AM
Geographical reach
Across all islands of the Bahamian archipelago.
Electricity provider
Company name
Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC)
Supply linked to national grid
Yes
Renewable sources used (eg. solar, wind)
Yes
Service description
The Bahamas Electricity Corporation is a government corporation that provides electricity to all of the Bahama Islands except for Grand Bahama. There are power plants at 25 locations across the islands, with 95,000 customers and a peak capacity of 438MW.
International Connectivity Infrastructure
Caribbean Subsea Network

Submarine cable landing station (CLS)

Point of landing: Freeport (Bahamas)

Ready for service: In development

Total Length: 2,500kms
Design Capacity: Initial 40Gb/s, Upgradeable to 100Gb/s
Owners: Global Nexus Telecommunications Ltd

Website: https://www.globalnexus.com/cable-map/

 

Bahamas Internet Cable System (BICS)

RFS (ready for service): 2001

Cable Length: 1,100 km

Owners: Caribbean Crossings

URL: http://www.caribbeancrossings.com

 

Bahamas Domestic Submarine Network (BDSNi)

Email link

RFS: 2006

Cable Length: 2,817 km

Owners: Bahamas Telecommunications Company, Teleco

URL: http://www.btcbahamas.com

 

Mobile satellite service (MSS) in-country coverage

EWS system(s) in place? - Yes

NEMA has installed a severe weather warning siren system throughout the Bahamas.

Managed by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

 

Mobile satellite service (MSS) in-country coverage

Iridium - Yes

Thuraya - No

Inmarsat - Yes

Globalstar - Yes