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Guyana Government defers 2nd reading of 2012 Telecommunications Bill – Nov 9th 2012

The wait continues for the liberalization of the telecommunications market. The Government of Guyana once again on Thursday deferred the 2nd reading of the Telecommunications Bill of 2012. The Government had done the same thing on at least 2 previous occasions, after hyping that the path was set for the telecommunications sector to be opened up, something that cell phone service provider Digicel has been pushing for. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said, the deferral is to allow some consultations.

The Government of Guyana had owned a 20% stake in GT&T, but sold its shares to a Chinese group. The Government has been coming under pressure to allow the market to open up, which would allow other companies like Digicel to route their own international calls. As it is now, Digicel is connected through the GT&T system and that company believes that the connection agreement with its competitor has been stifling its growth and development when it comes to the international platform. For its part, GT&T has been maintaining that it is opened to competition. The company, however, has forever been raising concern about all the internet calling centres being set up across the country offering international calls at low prices, without having to worry about any Government regulation.

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