The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) is claiming that it can adequately handle all of Guyana’s overseas traffic, and is accusing its competitor, Digicel, of operating illegally.
On the verge of liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, GTT began accusing Digicel of engaging in illegal activities, noting that the Irish Company has been facilitating an “illegal, unlicensed trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname”. It also called for the Government to intervene. However, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications subsequently questioned GTT’s ability to meet the demands of the local market. This is given the fact that though GTT has been operating in Guyana for the longest period, it has failed to provide internet services of the required standard and several areas are still without DSL service.
The Ministry said it is not condoning this activity but is being practical about the needs of Guyanese people and businesses. It, therefore, invited GTT to submit relevant information and data to clearly demonstrate that they have the network capacity to ensure that the people of Guyana will not be adversely affected by the discontinuance of the Digicel link to Suriname.
In its statement, today (Wednesday, April 19, 2017), GTT noted that it “has the capacity to handle all of our country’s overseas traffic,” again calling for the illegal bypass to be audited by an independent organisation.
GTT is questioning how much taxes are being lost from Digicel’s bypass operation, claiming that it could amount to “$30 million U.S. or more.”
Digicel had expressed the view 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.