We need more internet providers and strong regulations

Dear Editor,

When the PPP/C government started an ICT fibre optic cable from Brazil, Guyanese were elated. I think it was recognized that Gtt seemed incapable of delivering fit and proper internet service. However, knowing another cable was coming I sensed the company was making some effort to boost up and improve its service. However, news of the demise of this project has dashed that optimism. It is no secret that Guyanese have been enduring the most obnoxious internet service in this part of the world.

Editor, I would use the internet after work mostly from 6 pm to 11 pm daily mainly for reading and research. I pay $6299 for 1.5mbs download. I would sit 15 to 20 minutes hoping a simple web page would open. This has been most noticeable for the past six months. I have been doing regular speed tests at Gtt speedtest.com and Ookla.com Both sites revealed than I was getting less than 0.20mbs download speed.  I made checks with several persons just to ensure I have an accurate opinion.  My findings were alarming.  Persons who were paying for 5mbs and 10 mbs were getting an average download of 1.5mbs average or less. This is mostly prevalent during the peak hours. It is clear that we are not getting what we pay for. Everywhere the subject discussion came up, it ended with the strong belief that Guyanese were shortchanged. This has been skilfully masked with daily PR gimmick  such as “Getting better all the time”, “lightning speed”, “Bigger Better Network” and “do more with GTT”.

I filed 2 complaints with Gtt (Ref-# 1989062 and 1986130). Nothing happened. I furthered my complaint to the PUC and I am still waiting. I have lost faith in this whole process but more so Gtt. My appeal will now go to Minister Cathy Hughes. If Guyana is to rank in development with the rest of the world, a fit and proper ICT sector is integral. We need to stop quarrelling with Gtt. We need to have more internet providers and strong regulations in place.  This is most urgent as we have a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the world.

Minister Cathy Hughes needs to ensure she has proper feedback mechanisms so she will be properly guided. Opening 200 ICT hubs is excellent news. But the quality of connectivity is most important.  I know the busy Minister has been working very hard and has every good intention. I trust that she will fulfil Guyanese expectations and ensure fit and proper internet service descends on this land.

Yours faithfully,

C Woolford

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