Telecom

The Telecommunications Facilities Act BES provides the basis for offering telecom facilities. For the telecom sector, the policy objective of the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy is to continue the situation per 10/10/10 for a period of 3-5 years. In principle, the policy pursued by BT&P until now will be maintained (‘silent transition’). For example, there will not be any full liberalisation (yet) of the telecom market as is the case in the Netherlands/European Union. 

The initial years were used to make an inventory of needs on the islands, after which any changes were implemented based on that inventory. If changes in policy and legislation and regulations are to be made in the future, then these will be taken into account as much as possible and in line with the situation in the Caribbean Netherlands. Existing parties are involved in this process (through consultations, etc.). In time, the introduction of the Telecommunications Act is also anticipated. 

Change in the organization of work

Since the change of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius into public entities of the Netherlands (Caribbean Netherlands), as of October 10th, 2010, the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands and the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) have been charged with the implementation and supervision of, among other things, the Telecommunication Services Act BES and the Postal Services Act BES.

Between 2010 and 2016, the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands and ACM outsourced the operational tasks to the Telecommunications and Post Office Agency (BT&P). During that period, the BT&P took on, in addition to its own tasks for Curaçao, the implementation and supervisory tasks in the Caribbean Netherlands, under the responsibility of the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands and ACM. However, the covenant expired on 31 December 2016. Since the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands is now well established in the local situation, the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands is now performing the tasks itself.

What has changed?

The office on Bonaire, including the monitoring station, has been transferred to the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands. The current employees are now also employed by the government. You can visit the office on Bonaire.

Address Kaya Grandi 69
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Tel +(599) 717 3140
Email bes@agentschaptelecom.nl

All activities will continue in the same way as you are used to but the employees will be supported from the Netherlands, rather than from Curaçao for financial, legal and policy matters. This also applies to the tasks that are being done for ACM.
A brief summary for what you can contact the employees on Bonaire (amongst others things):

  • Requesting authorisations for frequency use;
  • Information about which radio equipment you can use without authorisation and which you cannot;
  • Information about import of radio equipment (customs);
  • Submitting complaints about interference on or caused by radio equipment;
  • Submitting complaints about quality in the services provided by telecom providers.

Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands has made good agreements with BT&P to make the transition to the new situation as smooth as possible. Both parties will do everything possible to prevent you from encountering any problems.

Future cooperation

The transition does not mean that the cooperation is complete. The Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands and BT&P are also working together on specific components after January 1st, 2017. This concerns support in case of emergencies and having a fallback function for the Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands for example. BT&P also maintains a role in the international coordination of frequency use in the region and the representation of the interests of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom during international conferences on radio frequencies.

In addition, the cooperation will concern knowledge sharing and development, including internships and cooperation in the development of policies and regulations. Read the frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers below.