Digicel’s long-distance service given the green light by Supreme Court

19 Dec 2011

Digicel Bermuda says it is ‘delighted’ with the Supreme Court’s ruling which clears it to offer international long-distance (ILD) telephony services through its ISP subsidiary Transact. The firm issued a statement confirming the court had ‘fully discharged Digicel and Transact from their undertaking in respect of the provision of international long-distance services. The Judge further refused applications made by the defendants to issue an injunction against Digicel and Transact from providing international services in Bermuda’. In his ruling, the chief justice agreed with Digicel that the provision of services by Digicel-Transact enjoyed ‘the presumption of legality’ leaving the pair free to continue offering them to Bermudans.

As reported by CommsUpdate last week, Bermuda’s Ministry of Business Development and Tourism said it was ‘actively considering’ revoking or suspending Transact’s operating licence, amid an ongoing dispute of the legality of the concession. Earlier this month the legal battle over Digicel Bermuda’s long-distance service – delivered through Transact – intensified when the government said it was illegal, and that Transact does not hold a licence to conduct business in Bermuda. In a package of affidavits filed ahead of last week’s Supreme Court hearing to consider the legality of the Digicel/Transact service, the government claimed it did not give the green light to Digicel to offer the service via the ISP. Following the Supreme Court session, crown counsel Maurice Cottle said that Transact would now be given seven days’ notice and the opportunity to respond if any order to revoke or suspend its licence was made. However, it appears the state has lost the argument.

Bermuda, Digicel Bermuda (incl. Bermuda Telephone Company), FKB Transact