The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) has disclosed that its Blaze services are not being counted in the rollout of new landlines for customers.
The company was mandated last year by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to install at least 350 new landlines for customers across the country.
Since ordered last year, the US-owned company, between August 2017 and April 2018, managed to install 1,445 new lines.
Yesterday, the company explained that its new internet service package, Blaze, has number ranges that are different from the normal landlines.
Those numbers are not being counted in the reports of the new landlines to the PUC. “We wish to confirm that the noted order does not contain statistics from Blaze services, as the landline and the Blaze service are distinct services with different numbering ranges and methods of implementation and operation,” GTT explained in a letter to Kaieteur News yesterday.
GTT explained that the PUC’s order of 2017 specifically stated that the company is mandated to roll out no less than 350 landlines per quarter effective August 1, 2017.
The telephone company pointed out that it has achieved what was mandated.
The US-owned company has been under pressure to invest more to roll out landlines, a main conduit for DSL internet. Several communities are still without services, despite GTT being here more than two and a half decades.
It was only recently that the company took its Blaze service to La Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara, one of the largest housing schemes in the country. That area has been struggling for internet service, with many families depending on the mobile service as the primary source of internet.
Between August 2017 and October 2017, the company installed 184 urban lines and 224 sub-urban/rural ones – a total of 408 for the quarter. Between November 2017 and January 2018, the company managed 220 urban and 308 sub-urban/rural ones – a total of 528.
Between February 2018 and April 2018, GTT was able to install 214 urban landlines and 295 sub-urban/rural ones – a total of 509. The company last year successfully applied for increases to the rates of its landlines.
The spotlight has been on GTT and its performance as Guyana moves slowly to liberalisation, allowing for new players to enter and compete in the mobile, internet and landline market.
The company had been asked by PUC to roll out at least 1,000 new landlines, but had appealed that condition. As of last year, the number of applications for GTT landlines was over 16,000, with less than half in areas that had little or no telephone infrastructure.
GTT had also been asked to speed up its remedying of reported faults, with the company signalling that it has established a task force to address faults.
PUC had ordered that urban areas and towns have up to five days for faults to be fixed, with suburban and rural areas up to eight. Areas in the hinterland have up to 20 working days.
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