GTT denies planning to restrict Internet access during national vote recount

Last Updated on Sunday, 3 May 2020, 22:15 by Denis Chabrol

The Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT), Justin Nedd on Sunday rubbished claims on Social Media that the phone company planned to go as far as shutting down the Internet during the 25-day recount of votes cast in general elections held two months ago.

“GTT hereby states that this statement is baseless, libelous and untrue. Such a statement is irresponsible and has severe national security implications,” he said in a statement.

The vote recount is expected to begin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

Nedd vehemently denied GTT ever engaged in using the telecommunication  services as a political weapon. “As the leader of GTT, taking a position of shutting off our customers for the sake of an alleged political ploy is not something that my team and I can ever justify or condone and hence our absolute condemnation of this spurious piece of disinformation. Let me reiterate that GTT is irrefutably committed to Guyana’s development and growth. “

Nedd expressed grave concern about a Social Media post that GTT was in talks with the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) administration and reassured that the telecommunications service provider as a private entity, is “not politically inclined.”

“We will work with all elected officials – and respect their various roles. We are independent in our corporate structure and do our best to support Guyana well beyond the provision of telecommunication services,” he said.

He criticised those, who posted and shared the content implicating GTT in the supposed Internet degradation or shutdown in clear violation of freedom of expression. He reasoned that members of the public also have a responsibility to be factual, balanced, accurate and credible.

“While this is largely the responsibility of the media, our access to social media holds us all accountable to these principles. It is disappointing that persons unhesitatingly shared that article to create division and incite dissension,” he said.

The GTT CEO highlighted that instead of curtailing access to the Internet, the telecommunications provider  has been providing free Internet to health care workers on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus, COVID-19, reduced rates for the business community, offered extra data to our mobile customers – and our MMG app is supporting the call to transact business from the safety of  people’s homes.

He used the opportunity to restate that GTT in anticipation of increased demand, increase Internet capacity on the 1st of March, and in the coming weeks, GTT will announce even further measures to help the people of Guyana throughout this time.

“There is never a good time to divide – but now more than ever, we need to unite. We are in this together Guyana – and as your telecommunication provider we are committed to enabling the sharing of information and keeping you connected,” he said.