Chairperson of the GNBA Bibi Shadick reveals Radio Guyana & Telcor have six frequencies – 19th Jun 2013
Radio Guyana Inc. and Telcor Broadcasting are among 24 radio, cable and TV licences which are ready for handout by the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA), once the approved licensee pay up the licence fee and the spectrum fee. Of those, there are eight TV licences, eight radio licences and six cable TV licences.
It was Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who announced in the National Assembly that former President Bharrat Jagdeo had handed out 11 new radio licences in November, 2011, the very month he left office.
Among those new licensees, were Radio Guyana Inc., owned by Jagdeo’s best friend Dr. Ranjisinghi Ramroop and Telcor Cultural Broadcasting, which has as its directors, Jagdeo’s niece Kamini Persaud and Ruth Baljit, who is the sister of Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Mr. Robert Persaud.
These two licensees, the Prime Minister had said, were each granted five radio frequencies. However, today Shadick said the GNBA had approved six radio frequencies for these two new licensee.
When it was indicated to Shadick that only five frequencies each were known to have been handed out to Radio Guyana and Telcor, this was her response.
The licences which are ready for handout are not new. They are among the 36 broadcasters (including those approved by Jagdeo) which existed at the time the new Broadcasting Act came into existence at the end of August last year.
The Prime Minister had also announced that the Mirror newspaper, which is owned by the ruling People’s Progressive Party, was granted five radio frequencies. However, the Mirror has not yet submitted all its documentation to be approved for a licence under the new Act.
All the broadcasters were given permission to continue broadcasting and then to apply to the GNBA for a licence under new regulations of the Broadcasting Act.
Approved licensee have to pay two fees before they are handed their licences.
They have to pay a spectrum fee and a licence fee. The licence fee was set at a minimum of $2.5 million. Shadick had said Cabinet has directed that the licence fee be calculated as three percent of gross income for the preceding year, but it should not be less than $2.5 million.
There is no clear cap on what the spectrum fee should be. Shadick said that the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) determines what the spectrum fee should be, based on technical aspects of the spectrum, such as signal strength.