Many Guyanese were happy that GT&T were successful in launching their submarine cable allowing access to affordable bandwidth. Thousands of persons subscribed to the service because they were promised that with the $10,000 Emagine plan they would be able to access online gaming, conferencing and VOIP. However, two days ago GT&T broke all their promises and dashed the hopes of hundreds of internet cafés that depend on their service and are resellers of their CPoint and Phone Card services by blocking VOIP on their DSL lines.
This devastating move by GT&T left hundreds of people scrambling for alternative means to communicate with their families and friends abroad.
We will find that the only country in the Caribbean where we cannot benefit from great calling features like free talk for fifteen minutes after talking for 5 minutes to the USA is Guyana. Although we don’t have these options we are still being assaulted when we try to use the alternative of VOIP at internet cafés.
Four years ago in 2008, GT&T attempted this very move around the festive season.
This action adversely affected around 7000 persons who were the direct employees or beneficiaries of internet cafés, and tens of thousands of others who use these entities to make their affordable international calls.
GT&T should observe that with all these measures they are taking, internet cafés which use wireless services from other ISPs that are becoming increasingly popular are still boasting uninterrupted service. The logical direction is that scores of cafés will move away from the GT&T DSL service to the logical option, because lots of these café owners have been doing this business all their lives and have no other alternative.
We the members of the Internet Interest Holders Group (IIHG), inclusive of Stephen Thompson of Netsurf.com; Eton Cordis of Talk IS Cheap; Ranfred Williams of weChatting.com; Joseph Hoyte, Sigmund and countless others are petitioning GT&T to revisit this drastic move that has been taken against Guyanese. We are prepared to take whatever measures necessary to get our voices heard, including going to the Public Utilities Commission.