“Digicel disputes any allegations of illegality”
Digicel, the telecommunication company owned by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, has launched legal action against the Telecommunications Authority Suriname (TAS) for blocking its cross-border data link with Digicel in neighbouring Guyana.
Last week the TAS shut down the allegedly illegal microwave link, which Digicel Suriname used to feed data capacity to Digicel Guyana. It reportedly caused significant data outages for Digicel’s customers there.
TAS appears to have made its move under pressure from Digicel’s rival in Guyana, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT). GTT has long complained that Digicel must buy its data capacity from its rival instead of feeding it over the border, presumably for less costs.
GTT, which is partially state-owned, has previously alleged that Digicel has deprived Guyana of $30 million in lost charges by bypassing its network. It claims the link is illegal. Digicel has strongly denied those claims. Contacted by The Irish Times, Digicel said it is taking court action. “Digicel disputes any allegations of illegality and as the matter is currently before the court, we are unable to comment any further at this time.”
It is understood Digicel is seeking an injunction to force TAS to reverse its actions. A ruling is expected soon.