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Telecom

The BES Telecommunications Act is the basis for offering telecommunications services.

The policy objective of the Ministry of EZ for the telecommunications sector is a continuation of the existing situation of 10-10-10 for a period of 3-5 years. In principle, the policy that has been conducted so far by BT&P will be maintained (“silent transition”). There will be for example no (not yet a) full liberalization of the telecommunications market as is the case in the Netherlands/European Union.

The first few years will be used to identify the needs on the islands, after which also based on this inventory possible changes will be made. If changes of policy and legislation and regulations will take place in the future, then the situation in the Caribbean Netherlands will be taken into account and adhered to as much as possible. Existing parties (through consultations etc.) will be involved in this process.

In time, the introduction of the Telecommunications Act is also planned. 


Implementation, Supervision
The operator and supervisor in the field of telecommunications in the Netherlands, the Netherlands authority for Consumers and Markets, has been appointed supervisor and implementer of the telecommunications and postal regulations in the Caribbean Netherlands.
Additionally ‘Agentschap Telecom’ will be charged with the more technical aspect of the supervision.

For the execution of the telecommunications tasks there is a partnership with the ‘Bureau Telecommunicatie en Post’ of Curacao (BTP). The actual decision making is in the hands of ‘Agentschap Telecom’. Objections and appeals will also be handled from the Netherlands. These agreements have been formalized in a service level agreement between ‘Agentschap Telecom’ and BT&P.

Where do I apply for, amend or have an authorization or concession revoked?
You may continue filing these requests with the BT&P. BT&P will continue implementing this. The final authorization or amendment, or its revocation will be signed by the ‘Agentschap’.
Who monitors illegal use of frequencies? 
Commissioned by the ‘Agentschap Telecom’ the actual supervision is performed by the staff of BT&P. The employees have been assigned by the Supervisor’s Appointment Decree of the BES Telecommunications Act by the Minister of Economic Affairs.


Frequency Management


Who is going to do the international coordination (ITU etc.) for the Caribbean Netherlands?
BT&P will do this regionally as part of its responsibility. ‘Agentschap Telecom’ participates with the Directorate-General for Telecommunications, Postal Services and Markets of the Ministry of EZ in the ITU and associated agencies. The interests of the Kingdom are considered in this.

Is there a frequency plan for the Caribbean Netherlands? 
Yes, there is a frequency policy plan


Radio transmission amateurs


Will new call signs be introduced for the Caribbean Netherlands?
No, the current call signs that were granted for the Netherlands Antilles will be maintained. Your call sign will therefore not change. For Bonaire this is PJ4, St. Eustatius PJ5 and Saba PJ6.
Radio transmission amateurs from the Netherlands may use their own call sign, together with Bonaire /PJ4, St. Eustatius /PJ5 and Saba /PJ6.


Shipping Industry


Who issues the maritime frequencies and who will monitor these?
The execution and supervision are part of the responsibility of ‘Agentschap Telecom’ and are actually performed by BT&P. Therefore, BT&P performs the execution and supervision in the Caribbean Netherlands. The provision of maritime call signs is currently still centrally channeled through the Ministry of Traffic and Transportation in Curaçao. Further agreements on this are still in the works.


Trade and equipment

 

Are the EU-directives (R&TTE AND EMC) applicable in the Caribbean Netherlands?
The Cabinet has decided that with regard to the EU-regulations the Caribbean Netherlands will maintain the same status as they currently have. Within the EC-treaty, the Netherlands Antilles have the so called Overseas Countries and Territories (OTC) status. This means that, in principle, EU-law is not applicable for the Caribbean Netherlands, just as is the case for the remaining other countries except the Netherlands in the Kingdom, unless it is explicitly declared in effect. The R&TTE-directive is not in effect in the Netherlands Antilles and after October 10th it will still not be in effect in the Caribbean Netherlands. The current import restrictions remain in force as long as there is a Caribbean Netherlands OTC-status (thus EU-regulations are not applicable unless…). In the Dutch Telecommunications Act the ‘market launch’ is not applicable to the Caribbean Netherlands. After all, the Caribbean Netherlands is not covered by the EEA, but qualifies as a so-called third country in this context.


Numbers


Who issues the numbers?

‘Agentschap Telecom’ issues numbers through BT&P. Therefore, you may file applications for numbers with BT&P. The agency is officially authorized to issue. The actual implementation will be done by BT&P. Little will change for you.

Will the international code for the Netherlands Antilles be maintained?
The code +599 will remain for all countries that formerly were part of the Netherlands Antilles. St. Maarten will switch to country code + 1 721.

Will the other numbers remain the same (area code and subscriber’s number)?
Yes, these numbers remain the same.

Which emergency number is applicable after October 10?
Both 112 and 911 are the emergency numbers.

Will the fees for authorizations and concessions be adjusted?
The fees remain the same.

Who charges the fees?
The agency is authorized to impose fees to among others the holders of authorizations and concessions. BT&P will send the invoices and collect.

Will the Underground Grids Information Exchange Act enter into force in the Caribbean Netherlands?
The Underground Grids Information Exchange Act will not enter into force in the Caribbean Netherlands.