After High Court ruling…
…GT&T files appeal
On Friday, Justice Rishi Persaud ruled that “the licence granting an exclusive right or monopoly to provide telecommunication service or to control or regulate voice and data transmission on the internet is unlawful and void.”
The judge also found that “the existence of monopolies can infringe constitutionally guaranteed rights”
Following the High Court’s ruling on GT&T’s monopoly last Friday, Digicel Guyana has announced up to 88 percent reduction on international calling rates from 18:00 hrs yesterday.
Digicel Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Dean, on Monday said, “Digicel is elated to finally provide Guyanese consumers with fair international calling rates after decades of exploitation by GT&T.”
“Digicel has been operating under a monopoly held by GT&T for the past five years and we are happy that customers will now be able to reap the benefits of a fully liberalised telecommunications sector. Reducing international calling rates is just the beginning; we have extensive plans for further growth of Guyana’s telecoms industry. Customers will soon be able to enjoy other fantastic offers on international calls.”
Calls to the Caribbean, USA and Canada are now reduced by up to 62 per cent, while China and Brazil will see reductions by over 80 per cent. A complete list of new call rates for destinations worldwide will be printed in the daily newspapers.
GT&T has claimed a monopoly on international calls since 1990, forcing Digicel to route international calls through GT&T’s network. Following the expiration of the international monopoly in Antigua last month, Guyana remained the last country in the Caribbean region to allow an international monopoly to persist. The High Court of Guyana’s ruling on Friday has now conclusively determined that this monopoly is unlawful and invalid.
However, GT&T has responded to the ruling by Judge Rishi Persaud.
“We are advised that the Commercial court ruling by Justice Persaud is in clear violation of our lawful rights under the Telecommunications Act of 1990 and other Guyana laws. The Commercial court has already stayed its ruling, and therefore enforcement of the judgment has been suspended.
“Today we submitted our appeal of the decision and remain entirely confident that the decision will be overturned by the Court of Appeal.”
“We are further concerned that attempts to develop telecommunications policy through piecemeal court decisions are harmful to both consumers and the country. GT&T has long made it clear that we support an open and competitive telecommunications landscape. We stand ready to negotiate a thoughtful, comprehensive policy that both protects consumers and promotes further investment by GT&T in Guyana’s telecoms sector.”
“ We stand ready to negotiate a thoughtful, comprehensive policy that both protects consumers and promotes further investment by GT&T in Guyana’s telecoms sector” the company affirmed.
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