Several broadcasting entities to face sanctions if deadline for applications are not met-Bibi Shadick
Georgetown GINA October 1, 2013
Eight radio and television stations operators, including the state-owned National Communications Network (NCN), have been given until the end of October to submit all outstanding documents to the Board of the Guyana Broadcasting Authority (GBA) or they would be deemed illegal broadcasters, Chairman of the GBA board, Mrs. Bibi Shadick highlighted this morning during a press conference at her office.
These stations which include the STVS Channel 4, The Learning Channel, National Television Network (NTN), Rambarran, WRHM, NCN, Tarzie in Bartica and the New Guyana Company were given a deadline of October 31, which was decided by the GBA board, after letters were issued to them requesting that they submit the outstanding documents.
They were among those which had been given approval to continue under the Postal and Telegraph Act until they had prepared the relevant documentation to apply for licences under the Broadcasting Act. Mrs. Shadick said if these operators fail to submit their documents by the end of the month they will be operating illegally, “Without that licence, these operators will be committing an offence under the act, these offences carries certain penalties.” She also acknowledged that six licenses, four televisions and two radios, have already been approved by the Board but they have not yet been issued. These are Television Guyana Inc; GWTV Channel 2, Pinnacle Communications Inc. (Alfro Alphonso group) and MTV Inc. The radio stations are Telco Cultural Broadcasting Inc and Radio Guyana Inc.
The Chairman of the Board also highlighted that the Region 10 administration has still not applied for a television license. Similarly, there have not been any applications from Stabroek News, Capitol News or Mark Benschop.
Twenty-nine new applications for licences have been received by the Board; these include seven for television, seventeen for radio, three cable and two IPTV. These applications will be taken into consideration at a GNBA Board meeting which is scheduled for November 8. Among the applicants are, Kaieteur News for radio and television, Inspire Inc. and the Inter Religious Organisation Inc.
Due to the limited spectrum, Shadick said that priority would be given to applicants who would like to operate in areas that have no service, unlike Georgetown where most of the stations are serving and also to any religious organisations, since there is no official religious broadcasting entity in Guyana. The GBA is in receipt of four applications for broadcasting countrywide.
Shadick said the GNBA, recogonise that there may be some individuals who have been granted licenses but are taking a long period to utilise them. However, in all fairness these individuals are given time to set up their operations but if it is noted that a person takes too long then the board would have to eventually consider what to do with licensees who are not complying with the regulations.
The GNBA, meanwhile, has begun putting systems in place to establish the authority as distinct from the Board. The National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU), whose head is an ex-officio member of the GNBA Board, is responsible for the allocation of frequencies.
GBA is solely responsible for the granting of licences. The Board was established on September 4, 2012 and had its first meeting on October 11. The Board has so far met 26 times for the year 2013.