Government areas switch telecoms

Several government departments have
switched their telecommunications provider from LIME to Digicel in a bid to cut
costs, according to Franz Manderson, chief officer of the Portfolio of Internal
and External Affairs.

“This was a practical way of
attacking the problem of overspending,” said Mr. Manderson.

Digicel’s chief executive officer,
Victor Corcoran, said, “The recent recession has resulted in a concentrated
focus across most government departments to ensure that the government was
getting the best value for its spend.”

He said Digicel had prepared
uniquely tailored offers for different government departments to help identify
their needs and give them a viable alternative.

LIME Marketing Manager Julie Hutton
said the company’s decision to raise prices last month was not a result of
having lost some of the government’s business.

“The loss of some government
services has no bearing whatsoever on our decision to introduce these modest
price increases that were recently announced. With competition, government,
along with everyone else has the option to change providers. Obviously we
regret losing any business, but in the competitive environment in which we operate,
such decisions in telecoms tend to be based on a number of factors that are
perceived as valuable.”

Mr. Corcoran said the government
accounts transferred include the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, the
Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, the Fire Service, the Department of Planning,
911 Services, the Cayman Islands Prison Service, Hazard Management and the
Immigration Department.

In 2009 Deputy Chief Officer Eric
Bush undertook a project to evaluate telecoms expenditure and efficiency across
the entire Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, with a view of reducing
cost and introducing cost control.

LIME raised its prices for land
line and Internet services in June due to several reasons, Mrs. Hutton said.

“Despite the rise in inflation over
the past few years, and the rebuilding of our network infrastructure after a
number of damaging storms and hurricanes, we have consistently taken the
decision to absorb increasing costs of providing services,” she said.

“We can no longer continue to do
this and we have had to make a price adjustment, but the increases are still
below the current rate of inflation. Some of the increased inputs include gas
prices, electricity, vehicle costs, equipment costs and employee costs,” she
said.

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