Applications pouring in after liberalisation of telecoms sector – Vice President

Companies have begun expressing interest in providing various telecommunications services to Guyanese, mere days after the Government announced the liberalisation of the sector. 

Vice President, Hon Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, on Saturday said there has been mounting interest from investors since the sector was demonopolised.

“We have already had a new application, and we expect more from other people to come in with various sectors,” Dr. Jagdeo said during an interview with the “Guyanese Critic.”

Some of those companies will come with either an established telecommunication service or partial service. 

“We have already seen in a few days that Digicel said it wants to bring in a new subsea cable. We may have five other persons who want to bring in subsea cables, and they will now have the permission to do so,” the Vice President relayed. 

Before the liberalisation of the sector, Digicel Guyana was unlicensed for some services. Dr. Jagdeo said the company can now apply for permission to offer the desired services. 

While the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph company was licenced for extensive services, it can also now apply to offer services in new areas. 

Dr Jagdeo said the liberalisation of the sector would bring greater and cheaper bandwidth to the country. The more bandwidth, subsea cable and redundancy there is, the greater the services that will be delivered on this platform, he noted 

The VP added the platform allows for a shift to next-generation services and will boost Guyana’s economy.

Last week, Prime Minister Hon Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips announced that the PPP/C Government was bringing an end to the 30-year-old monopoly which had “left Guyanese weary, frustrated and lagging behind in the telecommunications arena.” 

The Vice President said the PPP/C Government had been fighting for the liberalisation of the sector years before it went into Opposition. 

The Telecommunications Act 2016 was first laid by the PPP/C Government in the Ninth Parliament in August 2011, and laid again in the Twelfth Parliament in 2012, after extensive consultations with both the public and operators. 

The Act was finalised before the 2015 elections and was partially enacted by the Coalition Government in 2016 by then Minister Catherine Hughes, again with bipartisan support, the Prime Minister stated. 

The PPP/C Government noted the former administration had four years to do what it was able to do in a few weeks. 

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