Frequency Assignments in Guyana have been haphazard for over two decades – 14th Mar 2013
The Guyana Government has virtually admitted that it has copped the Frequency Spectrum in the country for itself and a few others including a company that printed the Mirror. The Prime Minister, Sam Hinds, in a written response to questions raised by AFC, MP Cathy Hughes, has admitted that only in the last ten years were frequency assignments more reflective of what transpired in that period.
The response by the Prime Minister illustrates a haphazard approach to the development of the electromagnetic spectrum over the years. The Prime Minister’s response did not indicate a clear plan for investors (other than for the State itself and a few others) in radio, television and cable services, to grow and develop throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. The Response in the National Assembly revealed that for Radio Broadcasting, the State has arrogated to itself, some five frequencies with just the main transmitter being in Georgetown. All the transmitters have not been established or installed as yet according to the Government. This could mean that the State has identified frequencies in such a way that its broadcasts on the FM band, could blanket the coast and hinterland of Guyana.
Based on the information provided to the National Assembly, Radio Guyana Inc., owned by Dr. Bobby Ramroop, has been assigned five frequencies too and another company, whose director is an in-law of a Member of Parliament from the PPP benches, has another five. Another PPP official, Dharam Kumar Seeraj, on behalf of the New Guyana Co. of the Mirror Newspaper fame has another five.
While some have five, renowned Guyanese Eddie Grant’s brother, Rudy Grant, has only been assigned one frequency in Georgetown. Hits and Jams Company and five other entities have one frequency each. Hits and Jams will launch its radio station at the weekend. Of the six with one frequency two are from outside of Georgetown.
On the issue of television, the Prime Minister has revealed that only one frequency is available in the VHF band and about five in the UHF band. This by the way, does not take into account any applications submitted to or that are being processed by the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority. If the Prime Minister’s response is comprehensive then it does not explain whether the Government has any plans for the development of the spectrum in the country other than for the State itself and a few entities.