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PUC, GT&T block price cut, Digicel ready to go toe to toe in the courts

27 Jul 2012

Guyanese telecoms regulator the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has ordered Digicel Guyana to remove all advertisements featuring the recently lowered rates for international calls. According to local press reports, the incumbent Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) has also secured an injunction against Digicel from going ahead with its plan to offer reduced rates on international calls. As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this week, Digicel interpreted a High Court ruling against GT&T to mean that the telco’s monopoly on international voice services was illegal and void. In the wake of the ruling, Digicel announced that it would cut the price of international calls by more than 62% using its own international gateway rather than interconnecting with GT&T’s.

However, GT&T has secured an interim injunction against the telco ‘restraining Digicel’s actions, until further order, from advertising, commencing, running or operating an international call service other than through interconnection with GT&T or without first obtaining a licence.’ The PUC threw its weight behind GT&T, also ordering Digicel to remove the rates, saying that the changes had not been approved by the regulator. In response to the legal backlash, Digicel announced yesterday that it was prepared to fight any legal action mounted by or on behalf of GT&T, saying that it would ‘aggressively defend its legal right to provide low cost international calls to the people of Guyana.’

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