Oct 04, 2015 News
Bharrat Jagdeo’s grand Information Communication Technology (ICT) scheme is falling apart daily and Guyanese are learning more and more, the level of indebtedness in which he has plunged the nation.
Kaieteur News continues to be at the vanguard of reporting on corruption and other questionable deals in which billions of taxpayers’ dollars were mismanaged. Today there are ‘54 Long Term Evolution Towers (LTE) across the country’ —built at a cost of US$10M.
GT&T’s former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Yog Mahadeo, drew reference to the fact that it is not just the money used on the Fiber Cable from Brazil that has gone down the drain; there is also now limited scope for the 54 LTE towers.
He described the cable strung as currently “irreparable.”
On the matter of the now useless towers, Dr. Mahadeo told Kaieteur News that GT&T already has in place its own distribution network for its bandwidth supplied to consumers, including Government.
As such, the telephone company will have no use for the 54 LTE Towers, to service the eGovernance Project.
The LTE Towers were built as part of Jagdeo’s grandiose scheme to link a Fiber Optic Cable from Brazil, supplying bandwidth to a Fiber and LTE network that was set up across the country and its Coast from Moleson Creek to Anna Regina.
Much of the project financing which has to date cost in excess of US$100M, comes in the form of loans from China, monies that will have to be repaid using tax dollars.
Dr. Mahadeo did posit that government could possibly use the network in a drive toward liberalization and maybe sell the infrastructure to a private company so that they can compete in the industry.
The revelation by Dr. Mahadeo has underscored the fact that Jagdeo not only retarded Guyana’s technological evolution, but indebted its people to the tune of billions, monies that will take a number of years to repay.
This could have all been avoided if Jagdeo had initially taken up GT&T’s offer five years ago when the telephone company landed a submarine fiber optic cable in Guyana from Suriname, capable of supplying the country’s demands, 10-fold.
By the time GT&T’s fibre optic cable landed in Guyana, Jagdeo had already announced that Government had made a down payment for its own fiber optic cable coming from Brazil.
He said that the government’s cable will facilitate eGovernance—an ambitious plan to increase efficiency in the public service. His refusal to use GTT’s fibre optic cable infrastructure however, meant that Guyana was literally kept in the ‘technological dark age’ while it awaited the Brazil cable.
The new coalition government is now being credited with promoting Guyana with the roll-out, of its pilot phase of the eGovernance service.
ICT experts indicate that had Guyana been using the GTT internet service all along, its ICT sector would by now be five years more advanced than where it is currently.
“He (Jagdeo) instead opted to invest billions of tax dollars on a cable from Brazil, a cable that is yet to see the light of day and in the process, literally retarded Guyana’s technological growth.”
Compounding the situation is the fact that the Guyana Government had agreed to pay a Brazilian company for bandwidth to the cable for the eGovernance project.
Since the cable project has never been completed, Government has been unable to use any of the bandwidth available but nevertheless had to make its contracted payments. That contract has since been terminated.
This publication was told that a forensic audit is currently being undertaken regarding expenditure that would have been utilized on the project thus far, and at the completion of that exercise the administration would be in a better position to say how much was spent for bandwidth never used.
The Brazil cable was to have been connected to a fiber optic network that was strung along Guyana’s coast (Moleson Creek to Charity) and allow for the transmission of high speed data, video and voice communication.
The data network project is committed to the establishment of one centralized facility, which will host most of the government’s ICT applications, offer internet service and support operational and maintenance services. The Data Center will be established in Georgetown.
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