GT&T challenges PUC decision not to increase tariff  

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By Jomo Paul

CEO of GT&T, RK Sharma.
CEO of GT&T, RK Sharma.

 [www.inewsguyana.com] – Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) says that it has filed an appeal against a recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to deny its request to increase landline tariffs.

GT&T had made an application before the PUC in June of 2014 to increase it tariffs citing that it was losing around US$32.4 million (G$6,664,551,901)annually in providing landline service to this country – a situation which has been described as untenable.

GT&T, Guyana’s sole landline service provider during one of the hearings had said that while the landline service remains critical to the development of Guyana, it is an “albatross” in its current state hence the need for the increase in tariffs.

The PUC in its ruling against GT&T application had cited several deficiencies within the telecoms Body including its inability to provide service in several areas that it was mandates to do under its contract with the government.

“How can citizens pay for a service when it is not made available to them? The agreement in which GT&T relies to extract their minimum 15%, dated 18th June 1990 provides that GTT establish facilities permitting telephone service along the entire coast from Crabwood Creek to Suddie and in the interior at several locations within three years. Many persons are not the recipients of the telephone service. The GT&T explains they are awaiting the grant or release of spectrum to provide the service. The GT&T has been in operation, by way of monopoly, for the past 24 years and yet cannot fulfill that obligation which they undertake when the agreement was signed. There was no condition for the provision of spectrum—and being a monopoly for the land line service they choose to ignore the requests of potential consumers, blaming it on “spectrum,” the ruling read.

Several other reasons were also cited by the PUC in its denial of GT&T’s application.

When contacted on Friday April 10, GT&T’s Chief Executive Officer Radha Krishna Sharma told iNews that the company was preparing to issue a statement to address the multiple concerns that the PUC raised in its ruling.

He however told iNews that the company has decided to appeal the matter in the courts and will be diligently following along that path.

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