Friday, August 20, 2010

The end of GT&T's 20 year monopoly is near.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS) Dr. Roger Luncheon at a post-Cabinet press briefing today said that the legislative and regulatory reform process in the telecommunications sector is nearing completion.
“Drafting of the Bills, regulations, and licences, which are the principal elements of the reform process, are practically completed,” the HPS said.
The final phase that is being contemplated, would include a week-long period of engagement with Cabinet members as they consider the draft legislation in order to contribute to its finalisation.
Subsequently, the various pieces of legislation would be disseminated among the relevant stakeholders and posted on the Government websites.
It is anticipated that by October, public consultations will be initiated to garner feedback, which will lead to the final drafting at the Attorney General’s Chambers.
Dr. Luncheon added that the legislation is expected to be tabled in Parliament before the end of the year.
Responding to questions from media operatives, the HPS said that the aim to expose Guyanese to the benefits of an open, competitive telecommunications sector, which already prevails in the Caribbean region.
He noted that the Bill would be seeking to convert the existing situation of monopoly with regards to the interpretation of the 1990s licence which was secured by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GT&T).
Additionally, the legislation would mainstream what would be the current, technical, regulatory practices on the landline and mobile services, spectrum management, pricing and inter-connection.
“This would be hallmark, comprehensive reform at the end of which it is anticipated that the telecommunications sector in Guyana, like the other sectors in CARICOM and the rest of the world, would be enjoying greater coherence and more parallels. The monopoly would be ended and all of the facets of an open competitive environment would be legislatively enshrined,” Dr. Luncheon posited.

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