Many in government maintain that the protest over the sale of BTC is the machinations of political parties and a few disgruntled persons who are a minority in The Bahamas. Various persons on social media sites imply that this is all one big plot by the PLP to gain political mileage. They feel that the sale of BTC is a good thing.
You know what? Maybe it is. BTC has had poor service and high prices for years now and Bahamians are sick and tired of it. I’m just not sure about the sale to Cable and Wireless. And Just for the record I’m not PLP, in fact, I voted FNM in the last election.
Nevertheless, I feel very uncomfortable with this sale. I know everyone wants better service and lower prices but at what cost? There are just too many questions and too many shady coincidences for me.
Here are my 10 reasons why I’m against the Sale of BTC to Cable & Wireless:
- The $210 million price BTC is being sold for is considered below industry average.
- BTC is being sold with 15 million in its Bank accounts and over $300 million in land and infrastructure
- The Bahamas Government will take-over 36 million in Pension owed to the workers of BTC
- Cable & Wireless has a horrible reputation in almost all of its jurisdictions, it is considered the worst telecoms company in region
- Cable & Wireless will bring NO new technology – a fact that alot of people don’t know is that BTC already have the capability of all technology that C&W has. In any case technology is something you can buy or bring in consultants to handle.
- Cable & Wireless was not a part of the initial bidding process for BTC and was brought in through the back door
- Something very strange is going on at URCA (The Bahamas’Telecomunications Regulator) update: see my post on The BTC/Cable & Wireless Conspiracy
- CEO Usman Saadat is a former CEO of Cable & Wireless St. Lucia
- A URCA HR Consultant, Martha Lewis, is currently an Executive Vice President for C&W Barbados. She has it listed on her linked in profile
- She was the former executive vice president of Lime Caribbean (C&W)
- She received high praise and recommendation from someone listed as Usman S.
- 3 Bahamians were mysteriously fired from URCA last friday… URCA is now almost completely foreign
- Jobs for BTC have been advertised in UK papers up to a year before the sale is finalized
- 51% is not the same as 49%…. despite what Zhavargo Laing says.
- BTC jobs will be sent to other Caribbean Nations
- I have heard from reliable sources that tourists coming to The Bahamas have access to 3G/4G networks, but Bahamians are limited to 2.57g. Why is that? and if that is the case, what is C&W bringing to The Bahamas again?
- The Prime Minister has indicated that “Bahamians need not apply” for the purchase of BTC. That he will not sell it to Bahamians. Now for the Leader of our country to say to us as a people is a slap in the face. It speaks volumes of what he thinks of us as a people. For a leader of a country to limit the ambitions of his country, show so little regard for their capabilities and have the nerve to say it to their faces has to be unprecedented. I can not support anyone with that mentality
Shortly after I posted this I came across a speech that Leon Williams (Former CEO of BTC) gave to the Rotary Club on Reasons Why BTC should not be sold to foreigners. It is perhaps the best case I’ve seen for why BTC should not be sold. I’m convinced that any Bahamian reading it would have some second thoughts about the sale, regardless of political affiliation.
Read the Transcript of the Speech here.
The Speech answers the following questions;
- How much is BTC really worth? – you’ll be surprised
- What new Technologies will Cable&Wireless bring to The Bahamas?
- How much money has BTC generated for Government over the last 2years?
- Why are other countries like, the US, Canada and 3rd world countries like ourselves now protecting their Telecoms Industry
- What are the current capabilities of BTC
This speech is a must read if you want to be truly informed about the BTC issue.