Sir William Allen
Bahamas Minister of Finance

In his 2001/2002 Budget Communication to the House of Assembly on Wednesday, May 30, Minister of Finance Sir William Allen reported that a Telecommunications Sector Policy has been completed as part of Government’s intention to rapidly press ahead with advances in the telecommunications industry and the privatisation of the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation (Batelco). Advances as envisioned are essential to plans by The Bahamas to develop a vibrant e-business sector.

The Policy document also seeks to provide The Bahamas with other benefits; e.g. opening up of the domestic telecommunications market to competition in cost and quality of services, and providing universal access to basic telecommunications services emergency services and Internet access to schools and populated areas.

The Minister said Batelco’s privatisation is vitally important towards the creation of a comprehensively networked and knowledge-based society. Cost-efficient, comprehensive and state of the art telecommunications are vital to the nation’s *”goal of becoming a networked society with a rapidly developing e-business sector”*, according to Sir William.

The Bahamas Government has announced intentions of privatising Batelco within the next few months, following the tabling in the House of Assembly of completed audited accounts together with the vesting orders and other requirements to transform Batelco from a statutory corporation into a commercial company. Parliament also will have to approve the transfer of shares in the new company, Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to a strategic partner.