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House to debate laws to scrap telecoms monopoly

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel (Guyana), Gregory Dean.

As Guyana’s National Assembly prepares to Wednesday finally debate long-awaited draft laws that are key to liberalizing the telecommunications sector, Digicel said it was looking forward  to the early passage and with it, the ending of the telephone monopoly.

The mobile phone company said Prime Minister Samuel Hinds informed that the Telecommunications and Public Utilities Commission (PUC) bills would be debated.

Commenting on this recent update, Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Dean says “Digicel is pleased to learn of this new development which is great news for Guyana.”

“The Bills have been on the Parliamentary agenda since August 09, 2012 and while the wait has been a long one, we welcome the decision to progress following fruitful discussions between the Government and stakeholders,” Dean said.

 Digicel said it would now engage preparations with more certainty to introduce a number of incredible products and services especially in the areas of international calling and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the company seeks to become Guyana’s leading communications network instead of only providing mobile communication services.
 
“The people of Guyana deserve to have the benefits of full and open competition in all sectors including the telecommunications sector,” Dean concluded.

The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) had for years held a monopoly on international voice and data, resulting in Digicel’s international calls having to be routed through the incumbent provider.

GT&T has in the past also sought to block international calls via the Internet, saying that such providers were breaching its monopoly status and robbing it of billions of dollars annually.