A proposed move by UK-based Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) to take majority control of government-backed incumbent Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) is being opposed by the local Communications Workers Union, reports the Jamaica Gleaner. CWC outlined in a letter last week to the finance ministry the measures it would be prepared to undertake in return for permission to increase its minority holding in the full-service telco, including specific projects to benefit the general population, but union president Joseph Remy was quoted by the Gleaner as saying that the union would not support any plan to buy the state’s controlling TSTT shares.
CWC promised in its letter to help the Trinidad and Tobago government in its aim to join the top 30 countries of the Global Competitive Index by 2018, up from a current 92nd position. Specific promises include: providing 75,000 laptops/tablets and free internet connectivity to students over a three-year period; establishing a technology learning centre to help ‘build an e-ready society; assisting the government in rolling out ICT access centres primarily in rural areas; refurbishing five existing community centres; constructing a ‘mobile ICT community access centre’; alongside substantial investment to expand 4G network services to cover 99% of the population. Another aim stated in the letter is to develop the country’s enterprise hub capabilities by establishing a corporate data connective network, requiring ‘a substantial investment in new MPLS nodes in Trinidad and Tobago and linking these with the extensive Cable & Wireless MPLS network throughout the region.’