A hearing into the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited’s (GT&T) application to increase the rates charged for its services was yesterday adjourned to August 29 to accommodate full participation of stakeholders including members of the public.
The hearing will be held at the Cara Lodge, Quamina Street at 10 am where GT&T’s team of experts both local and international will make the case for the rate changes to the commissioners of the Public Utilities Commission.
Guyana Consumers Association President Patrick Dial said his organisation intended to oppose the application.
“The Guyana Consumers Association has studied GT&T’s application to charge higher rates for domestic services, while reducing international rates and is of the view that the time is not apposite for a rise in domestic rates but the hearings will elucidate the issue to a greater extent,” Dial said.
Preempting the telecoms bill, which is still to be passed by the National Assembly to open the airwaves and make room for competition on international calling, GT&T applied for new rates and an increase in rates for services provided, on June 30.
The PUC, in its pronouncement yesterday stated, “We have looked at the application before us and a few issues of importance both to the utility and the consumers will have to be determined. We find it difficult at this point in time to make a determination because we also have to consider any representation/submission by the consumer bodies, the commission or other interested parties. In the circumstances, we have adjourned the hearing of the application to Friday August 29, 2014 at 10:00 hrs in the Ballet Room of the Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown.”
GT&T will bring its complement of experts and has thus notified the commission so as to ensure that the international travellers won’t be inconvenienced by delays. The team comprises Vice President of Finance at Atlantic Telecommunications Network (ATN) John Audet; Director of International Regulatory Affairs at ATN Delrio Newman; Consultant, Ratemaking and Regulatory Affairs, GT&T Gene Evelyn and its legal counsel, either Mark Waldron or Ronald Burch-Smith, depending on who is available.