GTT trying to deflect from issues resulting from onset of liberalisation- Digicel

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Digicel Guyana on Sunday evening (March 26, 2017) responded to allegations made by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) that it is facilitating an “illegal, unlicensed trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname”.

Digicel noted that any question of illegality of the company and as to the services that it can properly provide to the public can only be determined “upon the judicial construction of the respective licences of both Digicel and GTT and upon consideration of all the relevant facts.”

It is the company’s belief that GTT is attempting to deflect from the material issues that have now been brought to bear upon the company by the onset of liberalisation of the Telecommunications Sector.

Digicel alluded to matters before the court in which the court is called upon to make determinations about the same issues.

One such matter is the Constitutional Motion filed by Digicel against GTT in which Digicel challenges the fundamental legality of GTT’s authorisations to operate in Guyana and the extent to which these run counter to the tenets of the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana.

It is Digicel’s view that “only when the court has ruled on these fundamental legal principles can any determination be made in relation to legality.”

The Telecommunications Bill was passed in July 2016, paving the way for liberalisation of the telecommunications in Guyana.

When the Bill is promulgated, all questions as to monopolies will become moot, and consumers throughout Guyana can look forward to significantly increased levels of access to electronic communication services, Digicel said.

It pointed to the fact that GTT waited until this time to distract the Government as it continues to work towards liberalisation, “speaks volumes.”

As such, the company says it stands by the legal positions that it has taken thus far.

Earlier on Sunday, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications says its intention is to arrive at a resolution that will be in the best interest of Guyanese concerning the matter between the two service providers.

The Ministry is questioning “whether GTT has sufficient data capacity to meet the needs of the market and the degree of congestion of its network.” GTT has been invited to submit the relevant information and data to clearly demonstrate that they have the network capacity to ensure that customers will not be adversely affected by the discontinuance of the Digicel link to Suriname.

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