PM also believes Hubert Ingraham is disappointed in CWC

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December 10, 2014

Prime Minister Perry Christie said he too believes that his predecessor, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, is disappointed in the performance of Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) since it bought the majority stake in the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC).
The Ingraham administration sealed that deal in 2011, amid widespread protests.
"I don't know what his position on Cable and Wireless and the acquisition is, but he should be disappointed because he himself by reputation felt that [CWC] would not be the group to sell to," Christie told The Guardian.
Christie was asked about BTC's performance under Cable and Wireless after former deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson said he believes Ingraham is disappointed with CWC.
"He doesn't like failures," Watson told National Review.
"Absolutely disappointed. He wouldn't admit it, but he is disappointed."
Some observers point to the controversial sale of BTC to CWC as one of the reasons the Free National Movement lost the 2012 election.
But Watson said, "We had to sell BTC. I don't know whether we sold it to the right person, or group of persons, but we had to sell BTC."
Christie has been a fierce critic of CWC and its service, which records around 40,000 dropped calls daily, according to officials.
However, he expressed confidence that BTC can turn things around with the $65 million investment it announced last month.
"We are now partners with Cable and Wireless," he said. "We watched Cable and Wireless dedicate a significant sum of money to fixing the challenge here.
"We think they will be ready for liberalization. I can tell you that there are now a growing amount of companies that are applying for a request for proposal.
"It means that we are on a timeline for liberalization and BTC will be prepaid when that comes along because they are dedicating a lot of resources to ensuring that dropped calls are minimized or stopped, and Cable and Wireless is demonstrating a tremendous capacity because they are making acquisitions.
"They are really preparing themselves internationally to have a much stronger presence in the Bahamas and in the region.
"So I expect from Cable and Wireless as a partner to the government of The Bahamas and the people of The Bahamas to be a formidable competitor to a new liberalized environment that will take place in the Bahamas next year."
Last month, BTC President Leon Williams revealed the $65 million investment in the company's network, which he said will lead to a decrease in challenges, including dropped calls.
Williams apologized to Bahamians for the company's service over the last three years.
Christie said the government's liberalization committee will announce a competitor by April 2015.
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News date : 12/10/2014    Category : Nassau Guardian Stories

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