Today’s Editorial April 05: Paying the price for

The Marl Road on Grand Cayman was afire Friday afternoon with rumours of mass layoffs at Cable and Wireless.

We heard frightful tales of wholesale firings. We were told Cable and Wireless was targeting Caymanians.

We were told and heard wrong.

Cable and Wireless put the record straight when contacted by the Caymanian Compass first thing Monday morning.

We felt it was our duty to get the rumours cleared up and give C&W an opportunity to clean up the Marl Road.

And they did.

Cable and Wireless did Friday what it felt best for business. The lay offs were part of the evolution of the company and designed to increase efficiency and value to customers.

It’s not an unusual move in the telecommunications industry.

And it’s the price that has to be paid for the telecom liberalization we all demanded of the Government.

The Government gave us what we requested and let the free market dictate which players would remain and which would leave.

Cable and Wireless, which has been providing telephone service to the Cayman Islands since 1965, was one player that remained.

Throughout the world telecoms liberalization has brought more, better and innovative communication services, entirely new ways to communicate, a boost to overall economic growth and the runaway success of the Internet.

It’s no different here in Cayman.

We’re paying less for our telephone bills than we were even three years ago. In most cases it’s not necessary to put on the egg timer when making an international call.

Telecom companies in every country that has liberalized its telecommunications industry have typically experienced an initial decline in employment.

But as innovations are made in the telecommunication industry, other job opportunities will open up at all telecom companies, even at Cable and Wireless.

C&W is, in fact, recruiting new talent that can manage the ever-changing innovations.

Like all businesses, Cable and Wireless needs the right team to run a successful business.

It’s unfortunate that people have to lose their jobs for a business to remain competitive and profitable. But it’s an age-old problem and one that won’t go away as the world evolves and we become even more automated, and not just in the telecommunications industry.

We’re all enjoying better products, cheaper rates and more telecom toys than we can shake a stick at.

Job loss is just one of the uglier sides of a liberated market.

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