A crowd of irate Bahamians gathered at the Holy Cross Anglican Church last night to express their outrage over Cable Bahamas proposed 30 percent price increase to basic cable.
CBL is seeking a 27% increase in the monthly charge, which would mean a per month price increase of $8 for residential consumers and $13.50 for the commercial customer. The current monthly rates of $50 respectively have not changed since CBL introduced the service in 1995.
SuperBasic [REVTV Prime] cable television service is a price regulated service. A copy of the consultative document may be obtained by visiting www.urcabahamas.bs by email firstname.lastname@example.org or you may telephone 393-0234 to collect a hard copy.
About 50 people attended the first in a series of town meetings hosted by URCa, The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority, and many Cable Bahamas customers could not contain their frustration as they took to the open mike. and unanimously voiced their opposition to the proposed price increase.
The Audience, which included former DNA candidates Rodney Moncur and Prince Smith, had to be frequently reminded to keep the noice down and maintain a respectable manner by URCA's CEO Kathleen Smith, Policy And Regulation Director, Stephen Bereaux and Senior Case Officer Vincent Wallace Whitfield.
URCA had announced at a press conference last week that Cable Bahamas is seeking to raise prices by 27% for its SuperBasic television package, now known as RevTV Prime from $30 to $38 for residential customers and from $50 to $63.50 for businesses.
Customer Greg Evans took to the mic to "Cry Shame" on Cable Bahamas for "Even coming to the country and asking for a price increase".
"Were already paying too much", he said to raucous applause. "For the channels that we're getting and the service we're getting they don't deserve a raise, they deserve a decrease".
Rodney Moncur also stated that there is an alleged conflict of interest on the part of URCA. He stated that URCA's chairman Randol Dorsett has represented Cable Bahamas as a lawyer. "Randol Dorsett is the lead attorney for Cable Bahamas" said Mr Moncur. The room then erupted into shouts of surprise and outrage.
The next meetings will take place next Tuesday in Marsh Harbour, Abaco followed by George Town, Exuma on September 20th 2012. Deadman's Cay, Long Island on September 25th 2012 and then in Freeport, Grand Bahama on October 2nd 2012.