Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes, said the Telecommunications Act of 2016, will soon be implemented. According to a report from the Government Information Agency, she said a number of initiatives need to be effected before the Act can be implemented.
The Minister said that President David Granger had assented to the Bill and her Ministry is moving rapidly to cover all the requirements that are necessary before the new Act can take effect.
Hughes explained that negotiations are currently ongoing with GTT and Digicel, which she noted is very important to the process and once this is concluded the ministry will be able to bring the legislation on board.
Hughes pointed out that the establishment of the Telecommunications Agency is one aspect that needs to be undertaken. She noted that the Frequency Management Unit will fall under the Telecommunications Agency.
“There are several other facets of how you manage the agency. We have a structure that has been approved by cabinet and we have got the funding for the staff that needs to come on broad so we are building that telecoms agency,” Hughes said.
The minister further explained that once the legislation comes into force the Telecommunications Agency will be open for other companies to apply for licenses to provide services to Guyanese in which ever area they are interested in.
The Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 15/2016 was passed on July 18, 2016 without amendments.
The purpose of the Telecommunications Act is set out in the Administration’s policy paper to effectively bring to an end a monopoly enjoyed by one agent in the telecommunication sector.
The position taken by the Administration, conforms to their regional commitment as established in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which speaks specifically to establishing an enabling environment to promote competition and fair trade.