In a public press conference this week Guyanese Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes urged the public to report any suspicious activity surround telecommunications infrastructure following a recent surge in vandalism of incumbent telco Guyana Telephone and Telegraph’s (GTT’s) fibre-optic cables. Over the preceding ten days the company’s fibre cable had been cut four times, leaving more than 20,000 households and mobile customers without service. The minister described the damage as an issue of ‘national security and personal security’ and stressed that vandals could face custodial sentences of up to two years. Speaking at the press conference, GTT CEO Justin Nedd added that services have now been restored in the affected areas, which included Mahdia, Linden, Bartica, Mabura, Ituni and Kwakwani.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, GTT has reported frequent damage to its fixed infrastructure in the past, from a mixture of sources including thieves attempting to steal copper lines for scrap and accidental damage from construction works.