THE DETERIORATION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS IN THE BAHAMAS

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The point was made by Senator Fred Mitchell speaking at the opening of the module for candidates in Freeport on Friday 28 September that no one in the PLP or the country for that matter seems to be following the issue of the state of telecommunications and data communication in The Bahamas. Since the FNM made a mistake in selling out the national telephone company, the country has taken its eye off the issue. URCA is there as a regulator but has no presence to speak of.  Both Aliv, the new phone company and BTC, the old phone company are busy extracting profits but nothing about future development and improving the quality of service.  Notice how we are back to the era of dropped calls.  Notice how difficult it is to get a connection when you travel overseas. Notice how difficult it is to get a connection even within The Bahamas. Notice how many times you are made to wait because the data is down at airline counters and other service points.  Notice how the quality of the communication has deteriorated.  Our guess is that this has to do with the fact that there is overcrowding in the bandwidth which is presently available for The Bahamas.  This needs to be addressed.  In addition, the developed world is moving toward 5 G.  This is the next generation of data which will allow operations for example to take place by remote access using robots.  The present lag time on 4 G is too long to allow that.  In the US, they have started the public discussion.  Some 800,000 sites will be needed to accommodate this as opposed to the 200,000 which presently exist in the United States.  Who is discussing this and thinking about this?  That may seem quite above our heads but certainly the dropped calls are not.