Our internet is only 8% of the speed of that in the US

Dear Editor,

Is GT&T having a joke with the people of Guyana? I’m talking about internet services here. I’ve just come back from the US where the following prevails:

$54.00 – Standard internet + phone

Combined phone and standard internet for just $54 per month for 12 months, plus tax, fees and equipment. You get anytime unlimited nationwide calling; free anti-virus protection; up to 10 Mbps download speed; one bill convenience; and 24/7 local customer service.

When I came back to Guyana I did some comparisons. Here’s the difference. (Figures are Mbps.)

Download               Upload

USA         8.72         1.05

USA         8.72         1.06

Guyana     0.88         0.31

Guyana     0.88         0.18

Guyana     0.72         0.2

So, for around G$10,800, I get the US lightning-fast internet service, free nation-wide phone calls, antivirus and all the whistles and bells. Here I pay G$10,000 a month for just the miserably slow internet. I pay for the phones separately and that is often another US$50 a month. Our internet here is only 8% of the speed of that in the US. It is noticeably much slower. Here’s some examples:

The Independent Newspaper 20 sec

Google 7-9 seconds

Reddit 13 sec

Amazon 8 sec

Sky News 13 sec

These speeds are atrocious. Now, why is this? There is plenty of capacity on the fiber optic networks if what we are told is true. Speeds of 100 gigabits per second are now in place – yes that is 100Gbps. Not Mbps. And for sure not in the miserable Kbps which we see when we measure our speeds here.

And GT&T have the temerity to advertise “the best value in Guyana.” They say they “open up myriad opportunities for businesses and households to exploit the benefits which inhere in Internet access.” (Whatever that means. It’s on their website.) Oh yeah? They claim (my comments in parenthesis):

High Speed access burstable to 1536kbps (I’m sorry – did you say 15 KKKK? In

bursts?) Instant connection, no more bad logins, busy signals, waiting to log on, verifying

username and password. (This went out with the ark – get modern). Unlimited access with no time restrictions (Oh yeah?). Flexibility to use the phone and browse simultaneously (Oh wow- such modern technology – I am under-whelmed). Access to a range of content and service providers (Indeed – if you can wait). Email address(es) (username@gol.net.gy) (Oh gosh! Aren’t they free everywhere else?).

I am told if I pay US$150 a month, I can have something towards the US standards. Er

– sorry, you heard right, yes $150.

So, bottom line GT&T – get modern, get updated, get some speed on your systems and give us, the public, what we can get for peanuts in other parts of the world.

And before anyone dares to say, “This is Guyana,” we are a modern country with a modern population and we demand the best.

Yours faithfully,
Peter Bouchard