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Excavation works disrupt telephone service to thousands

Flas back: GT&T’s cable damaged recently during excavation works by Guyana Water Inc.

The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) on Tuesday complained bitterly that contractors and other persons involved in of civil works were repeatedly disrupting telephony and data services across the country, sometimes inadvertently, or because they refuse to call before they commence excavations. 

The company said thousands of customers, including other key services, were Tuesday disrupted after B.K. International Inc. allegedly damaged cable about 13.5 kilometres from Georgetown, just outside the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) compound, East Bank of Demerara. 

GT&T added that that resulted in disruption to GT&T and thousands of its customers in as far away as West Bank and West Coast of Demerara, East Bank Essequibo and the Essequibo Coast.   Another fibre damage, also detected today, along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway resulted in the disruption of telephone service to numerous communities in Linden as well as Ituni, Kwakwani, Mahdia and Mabura.

 “The consequential damage to the company’s network infrastructure, especially our buried cables, is disruptive to our business, cost millions to restore, inconveniences our customers, undermines revenue generation, and can potentially compromise national security,” GT&T added.

GT&T recalled that over recent months, several of its business customers who rely on our data service to transmit and receive “mission critical” data and information have been severely affected by service disruptions consequent upon excavation works by contractors and others who failed to ask the phone company whether buried cable was in the vicinity of the excavation site.  These businesses included Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry, Republic Bank, Courts (Guyana) Ltd., Guyana Police Force, Demerara Distillers Limited, Guyana / Trinidad Mutual, Diamond Diagnostic Centre, to name a few.     

The road construction works on the East Bank of Demerara have occasioned repeated cable cuts, in excess of ten times  since 2011, and GT&T said that was of tremendous concern to GT&T and inconveniences the company’s customers and the country at large.

GT&T  highlighted the the severe negative impacts that these cable damage continue to have on the company and its customers, including the diversion of our finite technical and material resources away from our planned expansion programme works and routine installation and maintenance activities.  This situation is not tenable, especially since it is compounded by acts of apparent sabotage and willful vandalism of the network

GT&T said it has an obligation to protect the integrity of the National Communications Infrastructure but we need the cooperation and assistance of all Guyana if we are to succeed.  “We take this opportunity to again encourage public utilities workers, road contractors, and indeed all Guyana to call us on 0777 before commencing excavations which can encounter and damage our buried cable infrastructure.”