The Suriname government has shut down what it claims was an illegal microwave link providing cross-border communications between Digicel Suriname and Digicel Guyana, Demerara Waves writes. The switch-off reportedly led to widespread disruption of data services to Digicel’s subscribers in Guyana. As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Guyanese fixed line incumbent Guyana Telegraph and Telephone Company (GTT) retains a monopoly on international voice and data transmission – despite a near decade-long effort by the Guyanese government to negotiate and end exclusivity – but has previously accused its cellular rival of illegally bypassing its network.
A Guyanese government official denied reports that the switch-off was due to pressure from Georgetown, stating: ‘The Surinamese regulator is shutting down the link. We have nothing to do with it.’ Similarly, GTT has denied reports that it had threatened litigation against Suriname, with the telco’s head of public relations, Jasmin Harris quoted as saying: ‘We have not taken any legal action against Digicel Suriname or the Surinamese government.’ The spokesperson added that GTT was ‘ready to work with Digicel to restore their connectivity as quickly as possible’.