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Telecoms Bill likely in first half of 2016

After several setbacks coupled with the creation of a new Telecommunications Ministry, the long awaited Telecommunications Bill may make its way to the National Assembly during the first half of 2016.

The Liberalization of the Telecommunications sector via the Telecoms Bill was one of the pledges made to the Guyanese people by the APNU+AFC in its 100 Days election manifesto.

There has been mounting pressure, mainly from the stakeholders in the private sector, for the passage of new Telecoms Bill which could pave the way for new players to enter the market.

Effectively, the bill would also revolutionize the way such services are used in Guyana as it opens the door for the advent of dynamic services that are foreign to Guyana’s local communication spheres.

Telecoms Minister Kathy Hughes in a recent interview told Demerara Waves that the Legislation would soon be tabled but was reluctant to place a time frame on such.

“I have had courtesy calls with both GT&T and Digicel and we are starting the process,” said Hughes adding that “I can’t give you a date.”

She said that the government is at a stage where it is ensuring that the stakeholders are satisfied with the legislation and it encompasses all of the new policies that the new government would like to advance.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Eddie Boyer belaboured the need for the Legislation to be taken to the House urgently.

“The PSC has brought it to the fore and the government has promised to look at it,” said Boyer.

He indicated that the Bill should be passed in the House before the first half of 2016.

“We live in a country we don’t have 3G, we don’t have 4G…we need to look at technology because its important. These Bills are important,” he stated.