Friday, December 10, 2010

Advances in telecommunications…

-Cabinet lambastes Stabroek News, Kaieteur News over criticisms

RECENT articles appearing in the two independent media outfits, on advances in the telecommunications sector have been lambasted by Cabinet, after they were viewed as seeking to invite the attention of conspiracy theorists.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr. Roger Luncheon made the disclosure at his post-Cabinet news conference Wednesday.

He said Cabinet, at its recent meeting viewed the articles with some annoyance, in particular one appearing in the Business Pages of Stabroek News on December 3, headlined `Four local companies to be licensed under new telecoms legislation.’
According to the article, E-Networks, Quark Communication, I-Net and Nexlink Communication will be granted licences to provide services under the deregulated telecommunications regime, once the legislation is passed into law and join Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company (GT&T) and Digicel as service providers in Guyana.
But President Bharrat Jagdeo, at a ceremony where E-Networks introduced WiMax 4G N, a wireless digital communications system that will be providing broadband wireless access to up to 30 miles for fixed stations and three to 10 miles for mobile ones, explained that the Administration is seeking to liberalise not deregulate the sector, as being portrayed to readers in the Stabroek article.
He also refuted allegations that two of the companies were receiving preferential treatment.
With WiMax, Managing Director of E-Networks, Mr. Vishok Persaud boasted that the need for a connection crew to visit the home of a customer will be something of the past.
President Jagdeo said the advanced system will catapult Guyana into the forefront of cutting edge technology around the world.
Luncheon said Wednesday that Cabinet is of the view that it was “manifestly impossible for the editor to deny not knowing better in his/her contribution on the aims and objectives of the legislative and regulatory reforms of the telecommunications sector” to which the article alluded.

Had explained

He said that, on more than one occasion, at post-Cabinet briefings, he had explained such aims and objectives and, in November, highlighted the final draft of the new bills for consideration and their circulation to telecommunication and Internet service providers.
“How could Stabroek News and its business editor go so offline when considering and reporting on its aims and objectives or the real question is why?” Luncheon asked.
His personal opinion, he said, is that the real motives had less to do with accurate representation of what was accessible and more to do with sensationalising for the news.
Referring to Kaieteur News, which he said “has long since abandoned professional trappings in its commitment to sensationalisation”, Luncheon declared that the media outlet “should tell the public that the transfer of licences in the sector has a statutory and legal dimension that, currently, imposes significant burden on sole proprietors.
“They have to go back to the regulators to get permission to transfer, which is quite different from the burden that is imposed on other forms of ownership, particularly companies,” a process Luncheon said is known to Kaieteur News.
He said Cabinet found that the omission was not accidental, as the distinction should have been drawn to the attention of the public.
“That kind of reporting was not done in an attempt to titillate readers with more of Kaieteur News jaundiced opinions of decisions made by this administration,“ Luncheon declared.

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