What’s the real motive behind the sale of BTC?

15
1787
Oswald Brown

Oswald Brown Writes

By OSWALD T. BROWN

C. Allen Johnson, CEO/CTO of Grand Bahama-based Bahamas Digital Solutions, made an observation on Facebook today (Saturday) that raises some serious questions about the real motive behind the sale of BTC to Cable and Wireless by the FNM government.

“Now that BTC has been sold, Cable Bahamas will get it access to the United States without becoming a ‘foreign Carrier Affiliate’ of BTC,” Mr. Johnson noted. “It is funny that not many knew Cable Bahamas was a Horse in this RACE.”

The question now is this: Assuming that Mr. Johnson is correct, how many Bahamians were in fact aware of this?

Unquestionably there are some who were very much aware of this and these are the ones who will benefit mostly from this giveaway of BTC to Cable & Wireless. I saw the “play” from the outset as to the real reason behind Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham’s campaign to sell BTC to Cable & Wireless by any means necessary. I mentioned on more than one occasion on Facebook that to find out why Ingraham was in such a hurry to sell BTC before the Bahamian people vote him out of office, all one needed to do was check out who are the major Bahamian shareholders in Cable Bahamas. That’s still an exercise worth pursuing.

Of course, the argument could be used that they are first and foremost Bahamians, but this trend of thought is what makes Coconut Grove MP Cynthia “Mother” Pratt’s statement in the House of Assembly during the debate on the BTC sale so profound. Mother Pratt noted that members of the government claimed that after the purchase of 51 per cent of BTC was approved, a percentage of the remaining shares would be offered to the public; however, Mother Pratt quite rightly reminded those advancing this argument that many of her constituents had to struggle daily to provide food for their families, so where were they going to find money to purchase shares.

This statement by Mother Pratt underscores one of the major societal problems in this country today, and it is this: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer as a result of the policies of Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham and his FNM government. There is a lot of evidence to support the conclusion that the FNM’s economic policies are aimed principally at benefitting those that already have their coffers full as opposed to the small man who has to struggle daily to survive. That essentially is the difference between the philosophies of the FNM and the PLP.

  • OBSERVER

    If Hubert “Traitor” Ingraham really wanted the small man to be able to buy shares in BTC he would have ensured the shares will be offered to Bahamians at the same price they were offered to Cable & Wutless. Talk is cheap! There will be a $100million penalty charged to the govt. if others are allowed into the market within 3 years. I say it would be worth it to reverse the damn deal, pay the $100 million penalty and bid Cable & Wutless goodbye.

    • @OBSERVER. It would be worth it, but most I think that is actually the plan. C&W comes in now and manages all of BTC’s telecom, while Digicel or others pay government for the new license fee of say $20M + $100M in order to enter before 3 years. C&W wouldn’t be going anywhere though, they would simply receive the $100M passed through government. C&W’s thoughts are that a new entrent like Digicel would quickly cut the pie in half, making the value they paid for BTC’s customers and revenue base much less.

  • I hear Mother Pratt, but I also hear a gym instructor saying he was saving up $833 to buy some Brewery shares!

    Mother Pratt is right though, there is a segment of society that won’t have the money….but this is not new in the world. it is very unfortunate but even in the US, UK and other developed countries, there are people at the poverty line. Bahamas is not alone. Thank goodness we have so many rotary clubs, kiwanis and other organizations here doing something.

  • This is grasping for straws + cherry picking to an extreme.

    Firstly…Cable has a license with the FCC as it currenly lands its CCL fire loop in Boca. It recently had to get reapprovals for its license due to the merger with SRG.

    “In a release sent out yesterday, CBL said the FCC approved the application for a change in control of SRG with respect to its FCC-authorized section 214 license. This prerequisite was necessary, said CBL, to allow the merged company to continue to provide international telecommunications services into and from the U.S. as a global facilities-based provider.”

    Also, if the whole thing is about Cable Bahamas…then a) why would the govt put so much restrictions on it in the Communications Bill of 2009?
    b) Why would the govt open up TV licenses?
    c) Why would the govt sell its competitior to a company who plans to improve DSL?
    e) Why would the govt put an additional 3 year block on cell licenses when Cable has been clamouring for one for almost 10 years.

    f) Like a poster said…Mother Pratts point is basically a narrow minded view. Is she asking for the govt to NOT offer shares?

    Damned if you do and if you dont. Now any Bahamian can get shares in BTC and the arguement against it is that some can’t afford it?

    Its not the rich who only buy shares. Cable was 1 dollar a share, over 2000 Bahamians own stock in it and now its 13 dollars.

    I am not rich but I saved and will get some Comm. Brew stock and will save and get what I can of BTC.

    Of course some people can’t afford groceries, but if 20% is not working then 80% are and can afford it. Most of whom arent rich, so thats a red herring to say the least.

    • Tired, if you read the Tribune article by Neill Hartnell you will see what the problem appears to be.

      • I am quite aware of the article. I read it when it was released a year or whatver ago. But the questions ive posed pretty much shows how nonsenicle the idea is. If I were the govt and i was soley interested in protecting whatever interests I had in Cable why in the world would I do those things I listed?

        Again, the buyout of Columbus’ stock happened late 2009. BTC has been trying to get sold since 1998. Ingrham tried the first go round, Christie tried twice the second go round, Ingraham tried twice the third go around.

        Columbus came along in 08/09 and said they wished to have instruct Cable Bahamas to buy back its holdings. Again after the govt transferred its holdings to the trust fund overseen by Dr. Keva Bethel the FCC had no problems approving and allowed it to continue its business.

        IF
        1) the govt did not transfer those shares to the trust and
        2) the govt never tried to sell its holdings in BTC and
        3) THEN all of a sudden said they wanna sell thier shares…then I can see an argument.

    • yea but that you she’s taking about the ones who what like to but can’t some people only make $150 dollars with all the bill how can they save you might just be one of the lucky ones i know people who has share in companies in the US and only getting a check of $30 dollars for the fifteen years they had the shares, shares is only for people who can save not everyone could save they just don’t have it everyone is not in your shoe so please don’t judge.

  • http://www.tribune242.com/Print/01062009_Cable_business_Page1-Lead this article explains it all. I smell another rat.

    • Umm did you read that? Firstly this is referring to the buyout that Cable’s foreign owners did a year and somthing ago. By the govt restructuring the ownership it had it was able to allow Cable to continue operating as it would have with the FCC.

      So essentially by placing the shares into a trust, the govt’s direct holdings (as the FCC would have seen it) in Cable fell below the FCC’s threshhold.

      Then they approved it (the FCC).

      This all occured about a year ago. Without BTC being sold as yet.

      But again…where was everyone when we were having the debate regarding Columbus’ buyout? No where to be found.

  • Is he actually quoting C. Allen Johnson. I think he needs to read the e-mail supplied by C. Allen Johnson that was supposed to be prood that there was a conspiracy by the FNM to discredit the PLP by perpretrating a fake e-mail from a high ranking PLP member. The only issue it turned out, was the high ranking PLP member, admitted to sending the e-mail, thereby making one question Mr Johnson’s credibility when it comes to his political motive…

  • If Cable Bahamas benefits from the BTC sale then a major beneficiary will be Frank Watson a major player in Cable Bahamas and, the only man that Hubert Ingraham trusts!!

    • Actually the major beneficiary will be the Govt of The Bahamas (Public Treasury + NIB)

  • i think we need a little bit more explanation on this:

    “Now that BTC has been sold, Cable Bahamas will get it access to the United States without becoming a ‘foreign Carrier Affiliate’ of BTC,”

    Also, while Mother Pratts statement is very true, what is the alternative? should the government NOT offer any shares for sale?

  • mmmm… very interesting

    • C.Allen Johnson is a political PLP Snake, who is not to be trusted. I call on SIB to raid his CPU for evidence of treason and fraud against the people of the bahamas. get him NOW