Telecoms agency established

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The Agency which will be responsible for spectrum management and licensing service providers has been established even though the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector remains in limbo.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes disclosed at a news conference on Monday, January 22, 2018, that the National Telecommunication Agency is now legally active even as talks with GTT continue regarding the liberalisation of the telecoms sector.

“The thinking was when we release the volume of administrative work that needed to be done, we certainly did not want to wait until the end of liberalisation and then start that process. That’s why we have already started with the structure, the staff that’s going to be required to move the transition of NFMU into the new agency,” Minister Hughes stated.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes

Minister Hughes assured that when the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) is eventually shut down, there will be minimum job loss as most staff will be retained by the new agency.

The Minister acknowledged that the deadline for liberalisation is a moving target and declined to offer another date for the sector to be freed.

However, she assured that talks are progressing well with telephone giant, GTT which has a monopoly over the sector.

“The negotiations to date have been conducted in an extremely cordial manner. If you recognize that GTT and ATNI have had a monopoly situation that lasted over 20 years then you can understand that from the perspective of both parties, they want to make sure that they are coming to the table to get the best and to ensure that on the end of the day on the Government side, we want to ensure that we get a deal that is going to be good for the people of Guyana,” the Telecommunications Minister stated.

Once liberalised, the telecoms sector will become more competitive with the advent of investments in the industry. This can lead to improved services at more competitive rates for consumers.

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