Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes expressed alarm, at the recent vandalism of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) Fibre Optic Cables within the last ten days. Minister Hughes made this statement on Wednesday at a press conference in the Ministry’s Boardroom, Colgrain House, Camp Street, Georgetown.
The Minister stated, “The issue is one of national security and personal security as the ministry seeks to improve on its Safe City and Community Solutions. She added that Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) will be used to assist in intelligence led operations to apprehend the criminal elements.” Minister Hughes revealed that, in the coming weeks, more CCTV cameras will be installed around the country as part of these efforts.
“We are making one step forward and two steps backward, and each and every citizen have a responsibility I believe. If you want to help GTT and myself, because we work in a partnership… We must be able to depend on you to report any suspicious activity,” Minister Hughes emphasised.
Minister Hughes also made reference to Section 131 of the Criminal Law (offences) Act Chapter 8:01 of the Laws of Guyana which states:
“Everyone who unlawfully and maliciously – (a) cuts, breaks, throws down destroys, damages or removes any battery, machinery, wire, cable, post or other matter or thing whatsoever, being part of, or being used or employed in or about any electric or magnetic telegraph or telephone, or other similar appliance or instrument, in the working thereof; or”
(b) Prevents or obstructs in any manner whatsoever the sending, conveyance, or delivery of any communication by any telegraph or telephone, or other similar appliance or instrument; shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and liable to imprisonment for two years”.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GTT, Justin Nedd said that services have been restored to more than 20,000 homes and mobiles users in Mahdia, Linden, Bartica, Mabura, Ituni and Kwakwani among others. He pointed out that in the last ten days, alone, the company has had four cuts to the Fibre Optic Cables across the country.
The CEO said that in the last 12 months the company has expended $50M to repair cables that have been damaged by “criminals”. Nedd described the damage to the cables as damage to the nation’s infrastructure and added that reports have been made to the Guyana Police Force. The GTT CEO expressed his confidence that the police investigations, “will bear fruit”.