–with new E-Networks’ submarine cable, says President Ali
IMPROVED connectivity in Essequibo, through the installation of E-Networks’ submarine cable, could open doors for new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) businesses and the employment of advanced technologies to further develop the Cinderella County, President, Dr. Irfaan Ali has said.
Following a meeting, on Tuesday, with E-Networks’ Chairman, Rakesh Puri and the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vishok Persaud, President Ali said: “This improved connectivity in Essequibo enables the region to support advanced technologies, allowing for the establishment of new ICT businesses in the region, such as call centres, which will offer employment to hundreds, if not thousands, of Guyanese.”
With this cable, E-Networks can now offer Essequibians the same services at the same prices as those available in Georgetown, with up to a gigabit (1,000 Mbps) Internet speeds on its business fiber and up to 75 Mbps on its 4G/5G fixed wireless service.
It was reported that E-Networks, the only locally-owned internet service provider in the country, said that it has already moved to roll out testing of the improved services in several areas along the Essequibo Coast, with ongoing expansions to most areas between Aurora and Charity.
“With these new services, E-Networks looks forward to connecting more persons to the transformational power of the Internet, which has been highlighted during COVID-19 as the crucial link to education, work, and keeping informed,” the company related.
It boasted, too, that with E-Networks’ faster and more reliable connectivity, Essequibo residents will now have more access to online options for socio-economic development, remote learning, entertainment, e-commerce, collaboration, and connecting with family and friends.
In speaking about the importance of this $1.2 billion investment, President Ali said that the cable is a significant development for Essequibo and that it will create numerous opportunities for socio-economic development, job creation and wealth generation in the county.
President Ali applauded E-Networks for this achievement, and noted that the project aligns with the government’s national development agenda, which aims to create jobs and generate wealth for all citizens across Guyana.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, who was present at the meeting on Tuesday, also commended E-Networks for its commitment to the development of the telecommunications sector and its progressive contributions to liberalisation by expanding its services.
The Prime Minister encouraged the company to ensure that the hinterland and rural areas do not escape its attention as the government is focused on connecting everyone.
Both Puri and Persaud provided key updates to the President and Prime Minister on E-Networks’ investments and expansion plans, including landing Essequibo’s first submarine cable.
In his remarks, Puri reiterated that President Ali’s call to improve connectivity in Essequibo was the motivation for making the large ICT investment just nine months after the liberalisation of the telecommunication sector.
The Government of Guyana, in October, had issued Commencement Orders, fully bringing into force the Telecommunications Act 2016 and the Public Utilities Commission Act 2016.
The orders, which were issued within two months of the government assuming office, are historic, as they align Guyana’s telecommunications regime to those found in other countries the world over, including most Caribbean countries.
It, in effect, ended a 30-year anti-competitive telecommunications monopoly that has left Guyanese weary, frustrated and lagging behind in the telecommunications arena.
In 1990, the then PNC government had signed an “exclusive agreement” with Atlantic Tele Network, leading to the creation of GTT. It was reported that the first exclusive licence was for 20 years with an option of automatic renewal for an additional 15 years in 2010.
News that the new government moved quickly to remove the 31-year GTT telecoms monopoly inspired companies like Digicel and E-Networks to forge ahead with plans to expand their services.
Specifically, since the liberalisation, E-Networks has stimulated considerable competition, forcing the complacent incumbent providers to upgrade their services reactively.
“E-Networks offers businesses the fastest Internet access available in Guyana, and at lower pricing. The company’s network is also widened to cover more of the country’s densely populated areas, with continuous expansion to new areas almost weekly,” the company said in a recent statement.