$15 mil in upgrades planned for BTC
More than $15 million will be spent in the near term on capital upgrades to the Bahamas Telecommunications Company’s systems and services across The Bahamas, according to a statement listed in the Share Purchase Agreement.
The statement shows that$8,565,403 will be spent before February 28 and another$6,400,000 will be spent after that date.
The statement says$10.4 million will be spent on a next generation network.
Two point two million dollars will be spent on an IT customer care billing system and$425,328 will be spent on Family Island GSM coverage.
Some of the other projects include installation of Internet Protocol version six, the relocation of the Lynden Pindling International Airport telephone room and power plant replacements in San Salvador; Green Castle, Eleuthera; and Rolle Town, Exuma.
Most of the capital works are more than 50 percent complete, according to the document.
The government on Tuesday signed the agreements that will finally privatize BTC and hand over 51 percent share ownership of the company to Cable and Wireless, though the transaction will still require parliamentary and regulatory approval.
The documents signed between the government and CWC were the shareholder’s agreement and share purchase agreement.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said in the House of Assembly–where he tabled the BTC agreements that same day–that while CWC will have management control of the company when it takes over some time in the second quarter of 2011, the government will still have veto power over”critical”matters.
According to the Sale and Purchase Agreement, the government will sell 129,878,640 shares to CWC.
As previously reported, CWC will be the only service provider for the first three years. After that, the government can grant a second license to a telecommunications company. A third license will not be granted until after the fifth year.
The government will be liable to pay a maximum to$100 million in losses and damages if additional cell licenses are issued prior to the first anniversary of the sale.
The government will pay up to$80 million if one or more additional cellular licences are issued during the period between the conclusion of the first anniversary and the second anniversary and the government would be liable to pay up to$40 million after the second anniversary.
The sale of BTC is expected to be complete by April.