The Bahamas - Infrastructure, power, and communications

The Bahamas has a good infrastructure for a developing nation and the government is engaged in a long-term program to improve roads and communications. Major road construction has been completed in Nassau and on the Family Islands, which have also benefited from improvements in their electricity systems and airports. Traffic congestion has been alleviated in Nassau and a second bridge built between Nassau and Paradise Island. The islands have 2,693 kilometers (1,673 miles) of roads, of which 1,546 kilometers (960 miles) are paved. The water systems in Nassau and the Family Islands have been upgraded.

The islands have 62 airports, but only 33 are paved and only 2 have more than 3,047 meters (9,998 feet) of paved runways, and there is 1 heliport. The 3 main seaports are in Freeport, Matthew Town, and Nassau. Regular air and sea service is available between the inhabited islands, and between the United States and the Bahamas. Since the government allows foreign ships to register themselves under the Bahamian flag, there is a large merchant marine of 1,075 ships, which includes vessels from 49 separate nations. The largest number of ships belong to Norway (177), Greece (141), and the United Kingdom (113). Turmoil in Liberia, where many companies had their vessels registered, has caused several to switch registration to the Bahamas (21 in 2000).

Telecommunication service is widely available but installation and maintenance of equipment is slow by North American standards. There are 4 Internet providers in Nassau and the Cable Bahamas company has been granted a license to establish a center to provide web hosting sites for foreign companies. The company has also announced plans to build a US$15 million fiber-optic system to create a high-speed communication system between the Bahamas and the United States.

The country is self-sufficient in electricity, which is supplied by fossil fuel. Electricity production amounted to 1.34 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 1998, while consumption was 1.246 billion kWh.

Country Telephones a Telephones, Mobile/Cellular a Radio Stations b Radios a TV Stations a Televisions a Internet Service Providers c Internet Users c
Bahamas 96,000 6,152 AM 3;FM 4; shortwave 0 215,000 1 67,000 19 15,000
United States 194 M 69.209 M (1998) AM 4,762; FM 5,542; shortwave 18 575 M 1,500 219 M 7,800 148 M
Jamaica 353,000 (1996) 54,640 (1996) AM 10; FM 13; shortwave 0 1.215 M 7 460,000 21 60,000
St. Lucia 37,000 1,600 AM 2; FM 7; shortwave 0 111,000 3 32,000 15 5,000
a Data is for 1997 unless otherwise noted.
b Data is for 1998 unless otherwise noted.
c Data is for 2000 unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online].

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