The Government began discussions yesterday with Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Co. Ltd (GTT) and its parent company, ATN International (ATNI), in preparation for the transition to a liberalized telecommunications sector.
Leading the Government’s team was Public Telecommunications Minister Catherine Hughes, who was also accompanied by Vice President and Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, as well as ministerial advisors on ICT and Telecommunications.
GTT and ATNI’s team was led by GTT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd and ATNI’s Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Doug Minster. The team also included other company executives.
These discussions came on the heels of the passage of Guyana’s landmark Telecommunications legislation which is aimed at ending the exclusivity of fixed line, international voice and data services, and attracting investments to the ICT and telecommunications sector thereby increasing affordable internet access.
According to a release from the Public Telecommunications Ministry, discussions between both parties were cordial, positive and productive, and both teams expect the talks to conclude “as soon as possible” to their mutual satisfaction.
Once the transition process is over and the sector’s monopoly is fully broken, it is expected that the Telecoms environment would become more competitive with the proliferation of more services through multiple companies that can now come one board.
One such company that was already on board but could not in a true sense get its proverbial foot through the door, due to the monopoly held by GTT, is Digicel.
Digicel had lauded the process leading up to the passing of the legislation in Parliament for the sector to be liberalized.
Promting the company’s CEO Kevin Kelly to remark that “We believe this will create a competitive sector and will result in many benefits in terms of new and improved services for the people of Guyana.”