The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) is estimating their losses from the bypass link that Digicel was reportedly using from Suriname to be millions of US dollars.
The link has since been shut down by Surinamese authorities, which has reportedly caused disruptions in Digicel’s service.
At a press conference on Monday, GT&T CEO Justin Nedd shied away from suggestions that his company had a hand in their competitor’s dilemma.
Nedd would only admit that GTT has complained publicly about the trans border link.
According to Nedd, GTT has not commenced or threatened legal proceedings against Digicel.
On the matter of capacity, Nedd maintained that his company was able to provide the same service to Digicel.
In April pf 2017, GTT had complained that Digicel was operating unlawfully and even evading millions in taxes by having an ‘unlicenced’ trans-border link between Guyana and Suriname that has been active for more than five years.
The local telecommunication giant, that will soon lose its monopoly once the sector becomes liberalised, posited that “Digicel’s bypass operation has cost our country in lost tax payments. The damage to Guyana could be $30 million U.S. or more. The public needs to know if Digicel has in fact robbed our country of badly needed revenues by failing in its obligation to pay such a large sum.”
In its defence, Digicel had released a response citing the issue to be “yet another irresponsible attempt by GT&T to deflect from the material issues that have now been brought to bear upon the company by the onset of liberalisation in Guyana.”
Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes had said in response to the GTT’s complaints, inter alia, that “This has proven to be a complex matter, exacerbated by demands of the market for adequate voice and data services. Among the issues to be considered are whether GTT has sufficient data capacity to meet the needs of the market, and the degree of congestion of its network. GTT has been invited to submit relevant information and data to clearly demonstrate that (it has) the network capacity to ensure that the people for Guyana will not be adversely affected by discontinuance of the Digicel link to Suriname.”
Digicel is yet to officially respond to the service interruptions and the reported severing of the Suriname link.