Ramjattan’s call for auction of airwaves can lead to higher charges of internet, cable

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broadcasting1[www.inewsguyana.com] – Observers within Guyana’s Telecommunications sector has taken to task the sentiments expressed by Leader of the Alliance For Change, Khemraj Ramjattan as it relates to auctioning of frequencies [airwaves].

In an article published in one of the leading newspapers in the country, Ramjattan reportedly compared the decision of Former President Bharrat Jagdeo to issue radio licenses to several companies to that of the ongoing multi-billion US-dollar auction for six blocks of frequencies.

Observers pointed out that very few developing countries follow the path of auctioning, since this move only increases the cost of internet, telephone, cable, television as well as radio broadcast.

It was noted that developing countries such as Guyana does not engage in auctioning spectrum so as to ensure affordability of cost of services as well as to ensure wide participation in the development of the sector.

Observers also noted that in Ramjattan’s call, frequencies allocated to Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T) and Digicel/U Mobile would also be required to be auctioned thus putting tremendous cost on internet and telephone subscribers as well as limiting the reach of services especially rural and hinterland Guyana.

Companies which were granted radio licenses in Guyana include National Communications Network (NCN/Government), Radio Guyana Inc (Dr Ranjisinghi Ramroop), NTN Radio (Anand Persaud), New Guyana Company Ltd (Dharam Kumar Seeraj), Telcor Cultural Broadcasting Inc (Dharenchand Depoo), Wireless Connections (Maxwell Thom), Hits and Jams Entertainment (Rawle Ferguson), Alfro Alphonso and Sons Enterprise (Alfro Alphonso), Haslyn Graham (of Linden), Little Rock Television Station (Rocliffe Christie), and Rudy Grant, who is the younger brother of international singer Eddy Grant.

Other licenses were granted to Atlantic Network Inc and E-Networks for cable, along with Quark Communications Inc.

The Observers also made it clear that the companies granted licenses represented a broad field of Guyanese and it would be ludicrous to classify all those granted as “friends, families and cronies” of the Government.

The Broadcasting Authority had pointed out that licenses granted would have been based on applications/expressions of interest submitted, some of which predates the presidency of Jagdeo.

 

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