Prime Minister Freundel Stuart urged of Cable and Wireless Communications management and officials of Columbus International Inc. to explain the proposed merger to its customers, and to do what is in the best interest of the public.

Mr. Stuart offered this suggestion recently, as he met with the Chief Executive Officer of Cable and Wireless, Philip Bentley; Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Communications, Brendan Paddick; and Head of Government Relations at Cable and Wireless, Chris Dehring, at Government Headquarters. He said he had met with the management of both companies separately some weeks ago, and was following very closely what had transpired as a result of the proposed merger.

The Prime Minister pointed out that in previous years, there were traumatic changes at Cable and Wireless that were not properly explained, that negatively affected the employees and customers. He expressed the opinion that, as a result, customer confidence would not be restored by promises alone, but by an improved quality of service and an introduction of a range of services far superior to what was offered before.


Stuart indicated the telecommunications companies could count on Government’s cooperation if the intention was to bring a higher level of service here. According to him, Government’s interest is to ensure that there is healthy competition in Barbados, that the customers are able to enjoy a high level of satisfaction, and that the employees are treated fairly and respectfully.

Mr. Bentley gave the assurance that the proposed merger would provide customers with improved service and vibrant competition, as well as an opportunity to develop their employees. He insisted that they would “do the right thing” in Barbados.

Mr. Paddick said Columbus came to the Caribbean to invest and change it, not dominate the region. He stressed that the company had a people-centred approach; was committed to Barbados; and had already invested millions of dollars here to date. Mr. Dehring added that the merger would be positive for the region, as it would be left with two strong competitors. (SA/BGIS)

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