Better internet connectivity for Linden, Essequibo soon
Months after the government liberalised the telecommunication sector, which was once plagued by limited and costly services, President Irfaan Ali has announced new and expanding private sector ventures that stand to bring considerable relief to citizens all across Guyana.
Responding to the statement, “WIFI is a disaster in Guyana”, during an appearance on the Globespan 24×7 programme, the President said better internet connectivity will come to all communities across the country with Linden, Region 10, and the Essequibo Islands, West Demerara already lined up for new bandwidth infrastructure.
Dr Ali explained that his government’s plan to end unreliable connectivity while reducing the cost for ICT services is laid out in its push to liberalise the sector and bring an end, within months, to the decades-old monopoly that the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) enjoyed.
“We are seeing tremendous interest in added bandwidth capacity and private sector capacity. This will lead to more efficient and reliable service and a reduction in cost for services… all of this is happening because after coming to office we were swift in liberalising the sector.
“That is one of our great hindrances to competitiveness, the cost of bandwidth and the cost for ICT services but that is being addressed now with liberalisation,” he added.
The President said the liberalisation in October of 2020, he has already seen a reduction in cost for some ICT services. He said too that new businesses are opening, as he reminded of the call centre to be opened in Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, which will turn offer employee to hundreds of persons.
“The possibilities are endless, housewives can become employed, trained and retooled. They can add to the family income,” he added.
Guyana’s telecommunications sector was formally liberalised on October 6, 2020, with the government issuing the Commencement Orders to fully bring into force the Telecommunications Act 2016 and the Public Utilities Commission Act 2016.
Both laws were passed in the National Assembly since 2016 but were never brought into force by the previous APNU+AFC government.
But within two months of assuming office, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic government sought to move the process forward with Prime Minister Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips issuing the orders and putting aside a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the Coalition Government had signed with GTT.
The legislation creates a clear, harmonised framework and a level playing field for the sector.