– Deputy Mayor
Inadequate access to information via the internet is having a negative impact on businesses and educational institutions in Bartica, and residents are blaming this state of affairs on the poor level of service provided by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company.
This is according to Deputy Mayor of the town Kamal Persaud.
In an interview with the media on Saturday, Persaud said that the telecommunication company is failing to provide proper access to internet services and the installation of landlines for a number of residents and businesses, which would have applied a number of years ago.
According to Persaud, educational institutions are affected since they cannot access a dependable internet service to do proper research even if it is to simply use a search engine such as Google to get relevant information.
“One of the things particularly with GTT is that there are many businesses on board, but they cannot access landline services, and they have applied for a number of years, and it’s one of the issues that I have spoken time and time about.”
The Deputy Mayor said that this is disheartening, since persons are paying very high rates for the service, but are unable to enjoy it as they should.
Persaud said that some businesses wish to use the internet services to keep customers at the locations but because there is no landline, this affects business, especially restaurants and cafes. She stressed that this is a serious problem, because business is Bartica’s main interest as it creates employment and a lack of such services would hamper progress.
“The internet provider, I see that as a main issue coming out of Bartica where we have to get a better service, we have to get better ways of communication because sometimes I can’t access any emails. As soon as I step out of Bartica they pop up.”
Persaud said that the poor service hampers her work since persons would be sending important emails which she cannot access and this creates an embarrassing situation.
Meanwhile, responding to a question on the performance of businesses in light of talks of an economic slow-down across Guyana, Persaud said that commercial business is continuing as usual especially since new areas are being opened up in the town.
“Because of Bartica’s high dependency on mining and a large amount of miners living right in Bartica, most of the businesses cater for mining; mining supplies even repairs and so forth. So commercial business is still going on and there are a lot of new activities and of course you continue to see major structures going up, four, five storeys going up. So that speaks a lot about what Bartica’s economy is.”
She said that for some persons their livelihoods would be affected when there is a drop in gold prices or some other factor. “So you would have a percentage of persons saying it is not as good as it was before, but then when you look at the overall picture, Bartica is moving ahead and is moving ahead nicely and of course we would love for everybody to have a better life but everybody has to come on-board and do their part.”
Speaking on other utility services provided to the town, Persaud said that over the past few months, there has been improvement with electricity supplied by the Guyana Power and Light Company.
She said that the progress is a result of collaboration with the town council and the government of Guyana. “We can remedy that situation and of course moving forward we would like to have zero blackouts in Bartica; Bartica is gearing towards being the first “Green Model” town of Guyana.”
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