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Digicel presses for deadline on Telecommunications Bill

14 Dec 2012

Digicel Guyana has urged the government to set a deadline for negotiations regarding plans to overhaul the telecoms sector, Demerara Waves reports. The cellco has expressed its concern that leaving discussions open-ended leaves operators unable to plan accordingly and allows for potential abuse of the talks to delay the legislation indefinitely. Readings of the bill in parliament have already been postponed to allow for negotiations between the government, Digicel and incumbent Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T). The Telecommunications Bill is expected to introduce a new, independent regulator and further liberalise the sector yet negotiations regarding the termination of GT&T’s monopoly on international traffic have been ongoing for more than a decade. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that an earlier incarnation of the Bill was abandoned at the eleventh hour – just before parliament dissolved in for the general election – in September 2011 after ‘significant comments’ were made by an unnamed party, though Cabinet Secretary Roger Luncheon indicated that GT&T’s parent company Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) had intervened to block the reforms.

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