Turks & Caicos Islands
Turks & Caicos Islands Telecommunications Commission
The TCITC is an independent regulatory body created by the Telecommunications Ordinance, 2004. It is responsible for the regulation and licensing of all Telecommunications service providers and users of radio spectrum in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This includes fixed line operators, broadcasting stations, internet service providers and mobile telephone operators. The Commission is financed by regulatory and other fees levied on the Industry.
The TCTC is responsible for regulating the telecommunication operators in Turks & Caicos Islands, ensuring that there is effective and fair competition that will benefit consumers. TCTC also ensures that rates, conditions and quality of the services provided to consumers are reasonable, bearing in mind that the operators are private businesses with a right to a fair profit on their investments.
The TCITC is also responsible for managing the radio waves and the use of the radio spectrum by cellular operators, radio and television stations, private radio systems used by businesses and industry etc., ensuring that users do not interfere with the radio frequencies assigned to others.
When there are disputes between service providers about serving a particular area, the Commission has the authority to consider the effect on the customers of each service provider and to determine which service provider should serve in that area. The Commission also establishes service standards to which regulated service providers must conform.
Telecommunications Industry & Market Structure
There are three major service providers: LIME, Digicel & Islandcom (they provide mobile and/or fixed telecommunications throughout the islands).
- Rates are determined by competition, but where competition is lacking the Commission will set the rates.
- The Minister grants network licences upon the recommendation of the Commission.
- The Commission grants spectrum licenses.
Functions of the Telecommunications Commission
- Advise the Minister on telecommunications;
- Facilitate, maintain and promote effective and sustainable competition in telecommunications;
- Promote the interests of consumers and encourage licensees to operate efficiently;
- Prescribe standards for the quality of telecommunications services to be delivered to the public;
- Monitor and enforce compliance with license conditions;
- Investigate complaints by consumers of their failure to obtain redress from service providers;
- Regulate all spectrum matters.
Capital: Cockburn Town.
Population: Estimated to be 49,070 (July 2014): 88% African Caribbean descents, 8% Caucasians and 4% East Indian descents and mixed.
Currency: United States Dollar (USD).
Language: The official language of the islands is English and the population also speaks Turks and Caicos Islands Creole, which is similar to Bahamian Creole. Due to its close proximity to Cuba and Hispaniola, large Haitian Creole and Spanish-speaking communities have developed in the territory due to immigration, both legal and illegal, from Creole-speaking Haiti and from Spanish-speaking Cuba and Dominican Republic. .
Political status: The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory. As a British territory, its sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, represented by a governor appointed by the monarch, on the advice of the Foreign Office. The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization includes the territory on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.
Climate: The Turks and Caicos Islands feature a relatively dry and sunny marine tropical climate with relatively consistent temperatures throughout the course of the year. Summertime temperatures rarely exceed 33 °C (91 °F) and winter night-time temperatures rarely fall below 18 °C (64 °F).