By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon has put two local media outfits on blast over their reportage of government’s handling of the Information Communication Technology sector (ICT) describing those report as, “nonsense, crap and scandals,” which he said are aimed at discrediting the PPP/C administration particularly during this elections period.
In an effort to clear the air on the government owned Fibre Optic Cable project, he told reporters at a post cabinet media briefing that DAX Contracting Services Ltd was hired to execute rehabilitation and related structures from Lethem to Georgetown at a cost of US$4.5 M and not US$40M as was being reported.
He further clarified that DAX consortium offered to repair the damaged cables free of cost. The agreement between the government and DAX seen by iNews, states that “government agreed that DAX will use and maintain the said Fibre Optic Cable, repeater stations and equipment for a period of 25 years from the date of the singing of this agreement with the option of renewal for an additional 15 years.”
In return, government will provide DAX with necessary support to obtain licenses to transmit and receive data via the cable. Government has also agreed to grant the company access to use the cable’s structure equipment including road and pole access and access to repeater stations.
This agreement was made on March 16, 2015 and signed by Dr. Luncheon.
He also responded to questions about whether government’s agreement with the company will allow for it to offer telecommunications services with the granting of exclusive access to several pairs of the cable.
A riled up Luncheon instead noted that the agreement with regards to telecommunications service provider was specific in that this is a service that the company will not be allowed to provide and it will not be able to provide bandwidth as it pleases.
The agreement also states that the company will be entitled to a number of incentives including but not limited to, applicable tax holidays, remissions, waivers, duty –fee concession on importation of equipment, spares, tools and vehicles specifically two SUV’s and three 4 – door pick-ups.
Government will retain possession and use of bandwidth as agreed to between the two parties.