Guyana’s prime minister has signed an exemption order for small local internet service providers in a bid to issue them licences more quickly.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips was quoted by local news outlet Demerara Waves as saying that the order would “prevent them from having to go through a long process to be granted a licence. They just have to register and pay the necessary fees associated with the service. These are the small providers who will buy and sell services and are going the extra mile, especially in the areas where the big companies may not necessarily want to go.”
The government is investing in remote connectivity, with the goal of connecting 200 hinterland communities this year. This will likely be driven by small local firms, although Phillips has noted that the market is open to international firms, adding that currently three foreign firms have offered expressions of interest.
As reported by TeleGeography, in October 2020 Guyana’s government began implementing long-anticipated measures aimed at opening up the country’s telecoms sector. This included issuing licences to the three main providers - Digicel Guyana, E-Networks and GTT (Guyana Telephone and Telegraph), although all three asked for alterations to the licensing terms.
The PM stated that the government has now “identified the amendments that are necessary for them to expand their services” and implemented them, although no further details on the nature of the changes was provided.