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Joined: Nov 2002
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SMART says PM's comments are unfounded

[Linked Image] At Wednesday's marathon press conference, the Prime Minister covered ground on a long list of issues, including the nationalization of Telemedia. But has he bitten off more than he can chew now that the post nationalization plans are obviously not going his way? Barrow attacked an interconnection and rental of tower space agreements signed between Telemedia and its competitor, SMART in 2004. He suggested that the contracts were not arms length transactions and that the P.U.C. had not approved the interconnection agreement. What the PM didn't say was that when government took back B.T.L. after Prosser failed to pay, government and the PUC ran things for at least six months. During that period when they were in total control of telecommunications, both agreements were reviewed and could have been amended. The P.U.C. chose to leave things the way they were. SMART hit back late this evening and described the comments by the Prime Minister unfounded and intended to negatively influence public opinion to create a competitive advantage now in favor of Telemedia.

According to SMART, the Agreement was approved by the PUC as required by law and implemented by subsequent owners of BTL, which included Innovative Communications Corporation and the Government of Belize. On the unlimited duration of the interconnection contract, SMART explains that this practice is standard in the industry and cannot be limited to any time frame in order to protect customers from prolonged interruption of services. In respect of the commercial agreements on tower leases which the PM criticized, SMART says this has also been honored since 2004 and is in line with the Belize Telecommunications Act. Smart concludes that the rental fees are fair and reasonable in comparison to the fees paid by Speednet to non-Telemedia tower owners.

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SMART tells B.T.L. to tell the truth

Turning to the war among the two telephone companies, the smaller but more aggressive SMART challenged Telemedia this afternoon to disclose the true number of subscribers that have switched companies. The government's mouthpiece this morning declared that ten thousand subscribers have left SMART for the government controlled Telemedia. According to SMART, this is false and it is an attempt to smear the company. SMART is also taking issue with Telemedia's recent campaign on per second billing saying that Telemedia continues to charge international calls in intervals of fifteen seconds and roaming calls in intervals of sixty second. SMART attests that they are the ones that charge per second on national, international and roaming calls. And in respect to the claim of unreliability, SMART says its quality parameters surpass all standard industry indicators. The company also revealed that it has a growing customer base, which now stands at ninety thousand subscribers.

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What if... (I am going to regret this)

Ashcroft wanted to get rid of BTL with all the old equipment, infrastructure and bad reputation and started a cheap "Smart" telecom company.

PM Barrow nationalised Telemedia with approval of Ashcroft and he now has a claim for US$ 300 million (100%) for the company he bought back from the former government for US$ 55 Million (51%) only 4 years ago (approx).

That would be very clever wouldn't it?
Just a stupid idea.

Live and let live
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,925
stranger things have happened!

Reality..What a concept!
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Remembering the PM's and Ashcroft's former close links.....

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