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Poll: 57% of Abaconians support BTC privatization

Abaconians participating in a recent poll are 57 percent in favor of the government’s plan to privatize the Bahamas Telecommunications Company(BTC), according to the second round of polling conducted by the consumer advocacy group Consumer Voices Bahamas(CVB)in Abaco over the weekend.

Of the 170 respondents to the poll, 97 individuals favored the privatization plans, while 51 respondents or 30 percent of the sample were against it, and 22 persons or 13 percent were undecided. The first round of polling was conducted in Nassau on January 28, but the Abaco settlements of Marsh Harbour, Murphy town, Treasure Cove, Cooper’s Town and Fox Town were also targeted.

“The poll’s purpose was to ascertain from consumers their opinions on the government’s plan to privatize BTC, and to also find out major areas of concern as they relate to the services that are offered or not offered by BTC,”read a release from the advocacy group.

CVB Chairperson Marlene Minus along with two other executive members of the group conducted the survey, which was done between Saturday and Monday morning. Respondents were between the ages of 18 and 72.

Two questions were posed to respondents which required either a’yes’or’no’answer. They were,”Do you support the government’s plan to privatize BTC?”and”Are you satisfied with the services offered by BTC?”Demographic information was also gathered, and respondents were asked to identify any specific areas of concern they had.

According to the release, Abaconians wanted improved customer service, better signals in Bahama Palm and in the south, and commented on a lack of installed phone lines in German Town.

Asked about the high number of undecided respondents, Minus toldGuardian Businessyesterday that informal interviews with respondents after the poll indicated that many people simply did not feel that they were sufficiently informed on the subject to make a decision.

The consumer advocacy group presented itself to the Bahamian public on December 14, 2010, and from the outset had made its support for the privatization of BTC clear, saying that it was in the interest of the Bahamian consumer.

Several islands are targeted for the group’s next poll. Though no decision has been made yet, Cat Island, Inagua and Eleuthera lead the possibilities, according to Minus.

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