Liberalise Guyana’s telecom sector now!

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Guyana is stuck in the communications dark ages. Enough is enough. We deserve better - and only the swift liberalisation of our telecommunications sector can achieve it.

After three decades locked into a telecom monopoly, what do we Guyanese have?

Poor choice of services—due to the longstanding monopoly, Guyanese have been left with an extremely limited choice of services. Meanwhile, other operators are being held back from offering the better services they are ready and willing to provide.

Poor broadband coverage—a shameful 90% of Guyanese still have no access to broadband services at home.

Poor quality of services—even when we do have access to services, speeds are slow and unreliable.

Poor response time—any issues are resolved at the pace of a turtle in molasses.

These factors have combined to give Guyana the worst service in the Caribbean. The legislation ending the telephone monopoly was passed over two years ago by Parliament in July 2016 and assented to by the President. It must be commenced immediately to give Guyana the internet it deserves

Bringing Guyana’s communications into the 21st century won’t just improve our lives; it’s essential to developing our economy—especially now that our first oil production is just over the horizon. As things stand, Guyana is nowhere near ready to take advantage fully of this opportunity.

We’re a long way from achieving the universal landline coverage we were promised when the monopoly went into effect almost three decades ago. We were supposed to have telephone service in the home of every Guyanese, but instead only about 120,000 subscribers have been provided with mediocre service—that is at its best in good weather if you are lucky enough to have it in your community!

If our landline service has long been underwhelming, Guyana’s broadband service is even worse. Fibre optic service can be found if one is lucky in Georgetown and some surrounding communities, while DSL has slowly crept across the country on poorly maintained copper networks.  It’s simply not good enough.

We, the undersigned, call on our leaders to take the necessary steps to immediately eliminate the telephone monopoly and liberalise our telecommunications market so that other companies can roll out the services we’ve waited far too long for.

We’re tired of poor, unreliable broadband service.

We’re fed up with waiting for landlines that will never come.

We’re are tired of our remote communities not having realised the dream of modern communications in our homes.

We’re fed up of limited choice and not having the benefits of true competition.

Guyana deserves better than a telecommunications sector stuck in the 1990s.

We, the undersigned, demand an end to the closed telecommunications market in Guyana, and we insist that liberalisation happen immediately, allowing other companies to bring our telecommunications network into the 21st century and beyond.

We refuse to fall any further behind, we need #LiberalisationNOW!