Cable Bahamas clearly is not the second mobile licensee the Government is looking for…
Why has Cable Bahamas been so absent from sponsoring events like Junkanoo, Carnival and CARIFTA?
Nassau, Bahamas — In February, during a session of Parliament, the public was informed by Prime Minister Christie that three companies are vying for a second mobile license in the Bahamas: Cable Bahamas, Virgin Mobile Bahamas and Digicel Bahamas. All three had submitted proposals for that license.
In that sitting of Parliament the Christie Government spelled out quickly what it is looking for.
Prime Minister said, “Clearly what we’re saying is the foreign partner will be a foreign strategic partner with the management of the company in all probability. That is it, but not for the government to own the shares, but people through their pension funds and through other areas of investment. We have the task force with PriceWaterhouse Coopers who will be superintending that process.
“After they have judged and given points to the applicants, it will go to URCA (the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority) who will supervise an auction. Then when you add the two together, in May I hope I will be able to announce the entry in the marketplace of a competitor to BTC in terms of cellular services.”
Digicel is out of the race because it has one owner and clearly, that does not meet the model the Christie Government wants for the Bahamian people. And then there is Cable Bahamas, the claimed 100% owned Bahamian Cable company, which is presently selling landline services that are ‘piss poor’! Landline services at Cable Bahamas are so piss-poor that security companies refuse to use it for detection when linking home based security systems into its network – The Long and Short – the damn phone don’t work and many times when dialing you only get a voice message!
But what Christie said that caught our eyes was the fact that the Government wants a strong competitor to BTC.
BTC not only has a reliable landline service, but offers presently in the market a100% service reach across every rock and key in the country. Clearly Cable Bahamas in all its years in the country cannot boast the same in the cable market it now enjoys.
Additionally, what the Prime Minister is also looking for is a competitor not only with strong telephony reach, but a company that can deliver strong market support to the development of the country. The Christie Government is really looking for a group like BTC, which can pump new sponsorship money into the community through a myriad of events like: Junkanoo, Carnival, Youth Events, CARIFTA, OLYMPICS, Social and Community events where companies like Cable Bahamas are visibly absent.
The government also wants with that new business new jobs created in the sector, providing new services into the market. Cable Bahamas already has that, too, and more than likely much of the current staff would be doing the same tasks.
Mr. Christie in his comments hinted to Parliament, “We expected from earlier indications that Virgin, which is a British company, would come in. We are told there may be alliances between Virgin and a Bahamian group. That is what we have to see. But the government of the Bahamas is really only a bystander in this process.”
What is clear to us already at BP is this: Cable Bahamas Limited and Digicel do not really meet up to the expectations of the government.