The Private Sector Commission (PSC) is urging Government to announce timelines over the laying of legislation that will open up the telecommunications sector.
In his 2016 Budget Speech, Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, committed to Government laying the legislation this year.
Several companies, including Digicel, want to enter the telecoms market to compete with GTT with the landline, internet, mobile and international calls services.
The legislation has been in limbo for a number of years now after GTT, a US-owned company, said that it wanted negotiations, as there is a valid contract with the Government in Guyana with regards to its monopoly here on landlines and international calls.
According to the PSC yesterday, it welcomes the fact that the APNU+AFC government has announced its commitment in favour of the prompt liberalisation of Guyana’s telecommunication sector to be concluded before the end of this year.
“The PSC is, however, disappointed that the promised telecommunications legislation is yet to be laid in Parliament and urges the government to establish and announce specific timelines for when the liberalisation is going to begin and the specific processes that are going to be involved in this exercise.”
PSC, a powerful advocacy body for businesses, said that the fact is that Guyana’s economic advancement and growth is being seriously handicapped by the country’s limited access to bandwidth and affordable high speed connectivity.
“The PSC looks forward to a Telecommunications Bill that will ensure unrestricted and unfettered competition by our telecommunications providers. The absence of high speed affordable connectivity has left Guyana behind the rest of the world and, indeed, the rest of the Caribbean.”
The body said that it has also prevented domestic and international investment in the creative innovation of ICT services and the employment and productivity that this investment will produce in every sector of the economy.
“The Private Sector is of the firm belief that technology-driven, knowledge based industries must be the cornerstone of this country’s future. The Private Sector Commission is ready and willing to work with and support the government, in every way it can, to accelerate the establishment of an ICT sector that will bring our country and the economy into the 21st century.”
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