FRIDAY, DEC. 2: The Bermuda Telecommunications Commission is getting its date book filled up, but not in a good way.

The Commission, which already has a court date over whether or not Digicel can offer long distance, will now be in Supreme Court on Thursday dealing with issues with Bermuda CableVision.

Terry Roberson, general manager for Bermuda CableVision, said his company has two concerns regarding its prior dealings with the Telecommunications Commission, and so upon legal advice, it has decided to file for a judicial review on these matters with the Supreme Court of Bermuda.

“Firstly, Bermuda Cablevision has been attempting to introduce higher speed Internet services for our customers for some time, but can only do so with the permission of the Telecommunications Commission," he said.

“We have been trying to bring in a new 12 meg and 20 meg service, and because many of our customers are facing economic difficulties, a 2 meg service at a reduced cost.

“We had hoped that the Commission would welcome innovation and the chance for customers in Bermuda to experience the kind of speeds which are now common in other jurisdictions, as well as a more affordable high-speed offer, but unfortunately we have been waiting for over a year and the Commission has still not made a decision.”

CableVision, which also had a dispute with Bermuda Broadcasting and the Commission over dropping channels 7 and 9, wants to offer CBS programming.

Mr Roberson said: “Secondly, Bermuda CableVision wishes to reopen negotiations with various broadcast and network vendors to ensure that it can continue to offer its cable subscribers full and varied programming, but is prevented from doing so due to certain existing exclusivity arrangements, such as that between Bermuda Broadcasting Company and CBS.

“In prior complaint hearings relating to exclusivity agreements, the Telecommunications Commission has concluded that ‘exclusive agreements between carriers and programming vendors are generally not in the public good and should be avoided’ and in 2008 the then Minister requested a full industry consultation on this matter, which has not yet taken place.

“We reluctantly decided to take these long-standing issues to the court with the aim of achieving clarity on a way forward, as both matters continue to impact the operations of the market as a whole.”