Govt prepared to listen to GTT’s concerns – President

first_imgGovernment is willing to listen to the concerns of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Company onPresident David Grangerthe passage of the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2016, though it believes the telephone giant has nothing new to express.During an interview on “The Public Interest”, President David Granger made it clear that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) administration is a consultative government and will therefore listen to the concerns of GTT.“It took a long time for us to bring the Bill to its present state. All parties now in the coalition participated in the Special Select Committee. We heard evidence from the major companies; there is nothing we haven’t heard but we are prepared to sit and listen with them,” he stated.The President noted however that by no means will government take any measures which will reverse the progress made to liberalise the telecommunications sector.“We want to make sure that they all recognise that liberalisation is the direction in which the country is travelling and we don’t want any impediments,” Granger emphasised.Following the passage of the telecommunications bill, GTT Chief Executive Officer Justin Nedd called on the government to honour its contract with service providers.He posited that in order for the sector to be liberalised, GTT will have to negotiate with the government.GTT, which had legal monopoly on international voice and data transmissions and the domestic wireline service, has always declared that the sector is free because of the existence of other service providers.But, Digicel, its biggest competitor, had contended otherwise due to the many limitations in its desire to expand services to the people of Guyana.Though GTT has publicly stated that it welcomes the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, it still wants to further negotiate with government on the matter.It is unclear what exactly the company wants further discussions on.The GTT CEO only proffered that the company is not asking for the monopoly to remain but noted there are some things that need to be resolved.“Right now there are many grey areas we trying to resolve and we’ve been operating in those grey areas for several years, so we’re optimistic that with liberalisation, it will be clear. Businesses need predictability so once we have predictable operating environment, we know that we can focus on driving the business, providing good services and satisfying the customers,” the GTT head had stated.Additionally, Digicel is awaiting an engagement with government to discuss its licence and regulations for a level playing field.With the liberalisation, opportunities will now be available for other service providers to make investments in Guyana.President Granger, when prompted, indicated that he is not aware of any service providers expressing interest in making an investment locally. (Devina Samaroo)last_img read more

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