PUC or­ders GTT to roll out 350 land­lines per quar­ter and im­prove on fault re­sponse time

Stabroek News - - EDITORIAL -

The Guyana Tele­phone and Tele­graph Com­pany (GTT) was or­dered yes­ter­day by the Pub­lic Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion (PUC) to do more in terms of rolling out new land­line ser­vice and ad­dress­ing their fault re­ports.

In July 2014, the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany had sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion for new rates and a vari­a­tion of rates which was sub­se­quently dis­missed in 2015. The com­pany filed an­other ap­pli­ca­tion in 2016 for a re­view of the or­der and was granted new rates, which saw in­creases and de­creases in dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories, along with con­se­quen­tial con­di­tions, which took ef­fect from Au­gust 1, 2017.

The com­pany made a fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tion in Au­gust 22 to re­view two of the con­se­quen­tial con­di­tions – that the com­pany pro­vide a quar­terly re­port and roll out no less than 1,000 land­lines per quar­ter, and to re­view their re­sponse time for fault re­port­ing – which took place on Septem­ber 7.

While the com­pany had stated that the fig­ure of 19,000 out­stand­ing ap­pli­cants for land­line ser­vices was in­cor­rect, it had ex­plained that the num­ber of out­stand­ing ap­pli­ca­tions was ap­prox­i­mately 16,000, with 48% of that num­ber be­ing in “un-en­gi­neered ar­eas,” while the num­ber of ser­vice­able ap­pli­ca­tions stood at 8,813.

Of the num­ber of ap­pli­cants in the ser­vice­able ar­eas, the com­pany in­di­cated that it was also plagued with the is­sues of du­pli­ca­tion, re­lo­ca­tion, in­ad­e­quate doc­u­men­ta­tion, mi­gra­tion and death, which would’ve added to the num­ber of ap­pli­cants which they were un­able to pro­vide with land­line ser­vice.

How­ever, some 1,170 who have met the cri­te­ria are wait­ing to pay their fees, while an­other 1,770 have al­ready paid and are wait­ing for their ser­vice to be in­stalled, which the com­pany stated could be fin­ished within two quar­ters. As such, they had re­quested that the or­der be amended from 1,000 lines per quar­ter to 250.

How­ever, Chair­man of the Com­mis­sion, Dela Brit­ton ex­plained to GTT’s CEO, Justin Nedd that the or­der would be amended and the com­pany would have to sub­mit a quar­terly re­port and ap­praisal of the progress show­ing the new ser­vices rolled out, in­clu­sive of ru­ral ar­eas, and it should be no less than 350 lines per quar­ter, 25% of which could be reis­sued lines.

In terms of rem­e­dy­ing re­ported faults, the com­pany had in­formed the PUC that they had es­tab­lished a task force with the sole re­spon­si­bil­ity of ad­dress­ing fault re­port­ing. GTT had also in­di­cated that they were re­quest­ing rem­edy time frames of seven to ten work­ing days for Ge­orge­town, Greater Ge­orge­town, West and East De­mer­ara; 10-15 work­ing days for Lin­den and Ber­bice; and 20-30 work­ing days for Bar­tica, Kwak­wani, Matthews Ridge, Rupu­nuni, West Bank Ber­bice and West Canje.

How­ever, Brit­ton ex­plained that the de­ci­sion had been made by the Com­mis­sion that ur­ban ar­eas and town­ships will have a wait­ing pe­riod of five work­ing days, sub­ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas will have a wait­ing pe­riod of eight work­ing days, and Hin­ter­land ar­eas will have a wait­ing pe­riod of 20 work­ing days.

Chair­man of the Guyana Con­sumers As­so­ci­a­tion, Pa­trick Dial had also in­di­cated that GTT’s re­sponse time to faults has fallen tremen­dously, as com­pared to sev­eral years ago.

Sim­i­larly, a quar­terly re­port is to be sub­mit­ted on fault re­ports re­ceived and ex­e­cuted.

“There ap­pears to be such a need for the ser­vice. It is noted that the Com­mis­sion views that GTT has been spo­radic in its roll­out of land­line ser­vices around the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly in the ru­ral ar­eas,” Brit­ton said.

Nedd also in­di­cated that the com­pany plans to in­tro­duce new tech­nol­ogy that will make iden­ti­fy­ing the faults and fix­ing them much eas­ier and faster.

(Dhanash Ram­roop photo)

The PUC hear­ing yes­ter­day at the PUC Of­fice at New Gar­den Street, Queen­stown. From left to right, PUC Chair­man Dela Brit­ton, Com­mis­sioner Mau­rice Solomon, PUC Sec­re­tary Vidi­a­har Per­saud, GTT at­tor­ney Mark Reynolds and GTT CEO Justin Nedd

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Guyana

© PressReader. All rights reserved.