Mid-Year Budget Highlights Strides in Cellular Liberalization

February 12, 2015 (Nassau, Bahamas) – Yesterday, Prime Minister Perry Christie delivered his Mid-Year Budget Statement to the House of Assembly. During his address, Prime Minister Christie took the time to highlight the benefits of cellular liberalization and next steps in the process of modernizing The Bahamas telecommunication industry.

Opening up the cellular market in The Bahamas will increase competition, which will provide Bahamians with affordable, reliable and widespread access to mobile connectivity.

Prime Minister Christie stated that, “the government is focused on providing quality options and affordable access to mobile and cellular services to all Bahamians.”

In November of 2014, the Cellular Liberalization Task Force published a Request for Proposals, inviting interested parties to submit. Yesterday, February 11th, marked the deadline for the submission of these proposals. The Task Force released the names of the companies who submitted proposals hours after the deadline expired. The selection process will include two phases.

The first phase of review look at the technical and financial merits of the proposal, and the second phase will consist of a cellular spectrum auction. A qualified and trained evaluation committee has been created to select the best proposal. This evaluation committee is made up of members of the Cellular Liberalization Task Force and persons with valuable professional expertise who have been working together to ensure the process improves service quality, coverage and network resiliency, affordability, and accessibility.

One major component of the evaluation criteria will be the bidders’ ability to have broad Bahamian ownership of the new company, which will ensure that decisions are made to benefit all Bahamians.

The government and the Cellular Liberalization Task Force are aiming to select and announce a successful applicant by May 2015.

Since the election in 2012, the PLP government has made strides that have steered The Bahamas in the right direction and has paved the way for a more modern country in the future.

During his address, Prime Minister Christie emphasized the, “government is committed to ensuring that ALL Bahamians benefit from the economic fruits of the country and not just a select privileged few.”

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