Hosting and ISP Facilities
The main telecoms providers in Bermuda have opened e-commerce support centres which provide hosting services.
TeleBermuda International opened its centre in December, 1999. The TBI centre is staffed 24/7, and provides secure website hosting services for companies wanting to conduct e-commerce from Bermuda; Cable & Wireless shortly afterwards opened its sixth world-wide 'platform' offering web-hosting, e-commerce and other Internet services in Devonshire, Bermuda - the other five centres are in London, Washington, Bahrein, Sydney and Hong Kong.
There are a number of other local Internet Service Providers offering varying levels of support to offshore businesses. 'Partial hosting' involves the provision of payment pages on secure facilities in Bermuda, saving the expense of purchasing and maintaining a secure server, routers, firewalls, and transaction gateway. 'Total hosting' involves the supply of secure facilities to co-locate a client’s own technology solutions, or provision of a complete e-commerce package including access to the Internet and transaction processing. Local providers can also assist with the procurement, importation, and installation of client hardware.
Several of the e-commerce service providers rent “electronic stores” to allow digital businesses to operate from Bermuda without incorporating a company on the island. Each “electronic store” has separate assets and liabilities, as well as separate bank accounts, and must operate under the terms of a user agreement.
According to a 2009 report, all firms have internet access with a high-speed connection, however T1 lines or greater accounted for just 24%. 58% of employees are considered to be competent or skilled at using computers, up 5% from 2007. Corporate cell phone and mobile device ownership continued to show an increase from 75% in 2007, to 85% in 2008 and 87% in 2009. Companies tended to own more mobile devices in 2009, from 63% in 2008 to 78%.
90% of Bermudan households own a computer. The vast majority (89%) of households access the internet, and similar to the last two years' results, out of those that have internet access 85% have a high speed internet connection (DSL, Cable or wireless). In 2009, 94% of Bermudan households owned a cell phone and in 2010, residents owned a larger proportion of mobile devices such as BlackBerries, increasing from 16% in 2007 to 32% in 2008, 34% in 2009 and 77% in 2010.
Regarding residents’ online habits, consistent with 2008, the most regularly used online activities include using search engines, looking for travel information, and researching products or services and online shopping.
In October 2011, the Hon. Patrice Minors, Minister of Business Development and Tourism released the results of the fourth annual benchmarking survey, undertaken by the Department of ECommerce, to assess the prevalence of Information Communications Technology (ICT) in Bermuda.
The survey sampled 410 Bermudan households, 200 business professionals and 100 students between the ages of 12-17. The results showed that 92% of Bermudan households own a computer, 52% of residents own a wi-fi or internet ready device. 89% of housholds access the internet and have high speed connections.
The report further revealed that 87% of Bermudan businesses have a company website and 54% of those use a .bm address.