Tax on internet services will create “unnecessary” barrier to accessing information- Digicel
Digicel Guyana has noted that any intention to ultimately implement VAT on using the internet would create an unnecessary barrier to accessing information which runs counter to the goal of rapidly increasing ICT access throughout the country. This was told to News Room in an invited comment from the Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Guyana.
The comment came following the disclosure by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) of a possible increase in the cost for its services as a result of tax administration measures in the 2017 Budget which includes the services sector no longer being zero-rated.
Digicel’s CEO said “access to information via the internet is an essential service for everyone and a key driver of economic development worldwide. It impacts on every aspect of our lives and affordable access is of growing importance especially to our young people.”
However, the company did not make it clear whether the company plans to follow in the footsteps of its competitor and pass on the increased charges.
GTT on Thursday said consumers can brace themselves for a possible increase in the cost of their data and bandwidth.
The CEO of GTT, Justin Nedd said “by our estimations, if we put VAT on data which is your broadband internet, your mobile phone data, as well as the data that we sell to our corporate customers, we see that as an increase of about US$6M per year for the current service; that is US$6M which would be passed to the customers and that will stymie demand for services and create a negative cycle.”
Nedd further stated that it is the company’s goal to remain profitable while investing in improvement of its services to the Guyanese population.