Fall in Global Telecommunications ranking
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Recently, Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell engaged the University of the West Indies to conduct an islandwide survey on behalf of his ministry to determine why the country fell in the global telecommunications ranking. Frankly, Jamaica will slide further in the ranking as prices go up, incomes go down, and a monopoly environment takes root again. It is not rocket science.
As a struggling university student living on a tight budget, I'm forced to be conscious of any slight movement in the prices of those essential goods and services that I utilise. One essential service is that of Internet, and for the past two years, I have been a Flow customer. As such, upon hearing of the proposed buyout by Cable & Wireless, I was somewhat uncertain. However, I was willing to give
the deal a chance on the basis that economies of scale may redound to the benefit of the consumer.
Such benefit, though, is dependent on honest and patriotic business ethics, which would see a monopoly company forgoing profit maximisation in the interest of maintaining prices at an acceptable level, particularly given our context as a relatively poor Third World country where many of our people live below the poverty line.
We shouldn't have to rely on the integrity of business operators to protect the interests of our people. We have a Government which has been entrusted to secure and protect their interests. No attempt was made to consult or inform the public beforehand what this deal would really mean for the consumer. Neither were we advised of the safeguards put in place to ensure that the consumer would be protected.
Somebody please look out for us.