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Telecommunications in Bermuda

 

Telecommunications in Bermuda

Bermuda has five television stations, a small cable microwave system, two cellular services, three submarine cables, two satellite earth stations, and four Internet service providers.

Telephone

Country Code: +1441
International Call Prefix: 011 (outside NANP)

Calls from Bermuda to the US, Canada, and other NANP Caribbean nations, are dialed as 1 + NANP area code + 7-digit number. Calls from Bermuda to non-NANP countries are dialed as 011 + country code + phone number with local area code.

Number Format: nxx-xxxx

  • Telephones - main lines in use: 57,700 (2006)
  • Telephones - mobile cellular: 60,100 (2006)
  • Telephone system:
    • general assessment: good
    • domestic: fully automatic telephone system; fiber optic trunk lines
    • international: country code - 1-441; landing point for the Atlantica-1 telecommunications submarine cable that extends from the US to Brazil; satellite earth stations - 3 (2007)

Radio

  • Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 9, shortwave 1 (2013)

There are four main broadcasting companies in Bermuda: LTT Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (Irie), The Bermuda Broadcasting Company Ltd. (ZFB/ZBM)(not to be confused with BBC of UK), DeFontes Broadcasting (VSB) & Inter-Island Communications Ltd. (Hott/Magic).

The BBC owns four with the call signs of 2 with ZFB and two with the call signs ZBM. VSB owns 4 radio stations with the VSB callsign. One of BBC's popular stations include Power 95 (94.9). It plays mostly hip hop, R&B, and reggae. It has been popular over the years, until competition from Hott 107.5 began. DeFontes' main station is Mix 106.1 (VSB-FM). The station plays a variety of music, although mostly adult contemporary and top 40.

The recent change of LTT Broadcasting's Jazz format and frequency from 98.1 to 98.3 in November 2010 to Roots and Classic Reggae (www.irie.bm) has shifted audience from Power 94.9 and Hott 107.5 to place overall second in the market in the broad 18-54 demographic based on research from Research Innovations Ltd in February 2011.

In April 2004 2 FM licenses were assigned to each Inter-Island Communications and LTT Broadcasting Co. Ltd.. Inter-Island Communications operates Hott 107.5 FM, which plays a mixture of R&B, hip hop, reggae and some gospel. Overnight Hott 107.5 FM became the number one radio station in Bermuda. The Programme Director and part owner for the station was Elroy RC Smith, formerly of WGCI-FM of Chicago, Illinois, who is widely respected as one of the top PD in America. He has since departed from the station. Inter-Island Communications Ltd. launched its Adult Contemporary station, Magic 102.7 FM in February, 2007. Reggae star Collie Buddz (real name: Collin Harper) & his brother Matthew Harper started "Vibe 103" on March 30, 2012, under the corporate name of Harper Digital.

The Government of Bermuda's Maritime Operations Centre has also set up a shortwave radio station in 2007 (call-sign: ZBR), [1]

The Government of Bermuda also operates a radio station at 1610 AM / 100.1 FM to broadcast emergency information, such as hurricane watches and warnings.

American satellite radio is also available.

Organized by frequency, the stations are listed below:

  • 1160 AM VSB-3 (BBC UK) / DeFontes
  • 1230 AM "Bermuda Spirit" - ZFB-AM / Bermuda Broadcasting
  • 1280 AM VSB-2 (BBN) / DeFontes
  • 1340 AM ZBM-AM / Bermuda Broadcasting
  • 1450 AM VSB-1 "Gold AM" / DeFontes
  • 1610 AM Government of Bermuda Emergency Information
  • 89.1 FM ZBM-FM / Bermuda Broadcasting
  • 94.9 FM "Power 95" ZFB-FM / Bermuda Broadcasting
  • 98.3 FM "Irie 98.3" WRBF / LTT
  • 100.1 FM Government of Bermuda Emergency Information
  • 102.7 FM "Magic 102.7" WMJ-FM / Inter-Island
  • 103.3 FM "Vibe 103" / Harper Digital
  • 105.1 FM "Bermuda Spirit" FM simulcast of 1230 AM / Bermuda Broadcasting
  • 106.1 FM "Mix 106" VSB-FM / DeFontes
  • 107.5 FM "Hott 107.5" WHT-FM / Inter-Island
  • 162.400 ZBR (also on shortwave)

Television

  • Television broadcast stations: 2 (2014) ZFB Channel 7, ZBM Channel 9

Since 2014, the Bermuda Broadcasting Company (BBC, not to be confuse with the BBC in the UK) is the sole company operating television stations on Bermuda. It operates ZBM-TV channel 9, a CBS affiliate, and ZFB-TV channel 7, an ABC affiliate. Until 2014, there was a third station on the island, VSB-TV channel 11, an NBC affiliate, owned by the locally-based DeFontes Group. All of these television stations are commercial - there is no equivalent to Canada's CBC/Radio-Canada, the US's PBS, and the UK's BBC in Bermuda. Another TV station, "Fresh Creations", is a community TV station. Another channel, called Look TV, is primarily a rolling calendar of events. There is also Government information service channel which highlights history and current event programmes produced by the Governments information dept.

All five TV channels can theoretically be picked up over the air without the need of cable, but, because of the weak signal by the broadcast stations, cable is actually necessary for reception purposes. (See the "Media" section of Bermuda Online for details)

In recent years, there had been talk [2][3][4] in the Bermudian government of creating its own TV station, saying that it is needed "to speak directly to the public 'in an unmediated and unedited fashion'"[5], while critics state that it will be no more than a propaganda exercise.

Satellite television is also used, but was unreliable when only satellites available are those mainly servicing the United States of America, Canada, Latin America and placing on the edge of the reception area. At 2013 Bermuda started own telecommunication industry when obtained the Bermudasat 1 (former private American EchoStar VI) satellite that was moved to Bermuda’s owned geostationary point at 96,2° West.

Digital TV cable is available, as is wireless.

Internet

The .bm code is controlled by the Bermuda Government's Department of Intellectual Property, a part of the Registry General and administered by CSSD, the government's IT support group. The .bm domains are primarily granted to Licensed Businesses. Private accounts do exist, however.

References

Much of the material in this article is adapted from the CIA World Factbook 2009.

External links

  • [6] Bermuda Government's Telecommunications home page.
  • [7] List of Bermuda radio stations.
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