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GEORGETOWN, Guyana: The Guyana government has expressed concern over the decision of the Irish-based telecommunication company, Digicel, to alter its rates on international calls based on a recent court ruling.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon said that “unilateral amendments and alteration to existing telecommunication rates based on Justice Rishi Persaud’s ruling is inconsistent …since that ruling was stayed on an appeal by GT&T (Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company).”
Digicel announced earlier this week that it would cut its rates in international calls by more than 60 per cent following the High Court’s ruling on GT&T’s monopoly.
The Chief Executive Officer of Digicel (Guyana), Gregory Dean on Tuesday told the Guyana-based Demerara Waves Online News that his company is going ahead with cut in overseas rates in keeping with the High Court ruling.
Dean said that he was unaware of an appeal and his company intended to slash its rates to the Caribbean, United States, and Canada. The company says the cost of calls to China and Brazil will also be reduced by more than 80 per cent.
“We are working on the basis of the ruling that the judge made so I suppose we’ll have to cross that bridge when he get to it,” he told the online news outlet.
But GT&T said the July 20 ruling by High Court Justice Persaud is now the subject of an appeal.
“We are advised that the Commercial court ruling by Justice Persaud is in clear violation of our lawful rights under the Telecommunications Act of 1990 and other Guyana laws. The Commercial court has already stayed its ruling, and therefore enforcement of the judgment has been suspended. Today we submitted our appeal of the decision and remain entirely confident that the decision will be overturned by the Court of Appeal.”
“We are further concerned that attempts to develop telecommunications policy through piecemeal court decisions are harmful to both consumers and the country. GT&T has long made it clear that we support an open and competitive telecommunications landscape. We stand ready to negotiate a thoughtful, comprehensive policy that both protects consumers and promotes further investment by GT&T in Guyana’s telecoms sector.”