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Poll: COB students marginally favor BTC privatization plan

College of The Bahamas students participating in a recent poll were 53 percent in agreement with the government’s plan to privatize the Bahamas Telecommunications Company(BTC).

The results came from the third installment of Consumer Voices Bahamas'(CVB)efforts to take the pulse of consumers on the Government’s sale of 51 percent of BTC to Cable&Wireless Communications(CWC).

Of the 241 respondents, 128, or 53 percent, were in support; 110 respondents, or 46 percent, disagreed; four people, or two percent, were undecided.

The unscientific poll results have generally shown a close split of opinion on the Government’s privatization plan, with the exception of its mid-February Abaco polling, where 57 percent were in favor and 30 percent opposed. Even in that poll, however, 13 percent were undecided.

CVB’s first poll of 236 people, conducted in the downtown area on January 28, showed 52 percent of respondents were in favor, with 41 percent opposed and seven percent undecided.

The”undecideds”could have tipped the poll significantly toward or over the 50 percent mark.

Nevertheless, the trend of the surveys has been favorable for the Government’s privatization plan. In each set of polling CVB has conducted thus far, the majority of respondents answered’yes’to the question”Do you support the government’s plan to privatize BTC?”

It must also be noted that CVB, the consumer advocacy group conducting the survey and collating results, has always been clear that it stands in favor of privatization.

The poll also probed satisfaction levels with BTC’s existing services.

Of the respondents, 39 percent were pleased, 54 percent displeased, and seven percent undecided.

Respondents were asked,”Are you satisfied with the services offered by BTC?”and accommodated”yes”,”no”and”undecided”responses.

The poll was conducted on February 28 at the College’s Oakes Field campus, and posted the lowest number of undecided respondents of all the surveys to date.

Approximately 34 percent of respondents were male and approximately 66 percent were female.

The legislation approving the majority stake sale passed in Parliament yesterday, but the privatization of the company and the details of how that privatization is to be accomplished remain keenly debated in the business, and most other communities in the country.

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