February 2, 2001
SEEMS like congratulations are in order for the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T).
We know we run the risk of attracting a lot of criticism but it's the 10th anniversary of the company, after all, and congrats should be in order.
There's no doubt that there have been tremendous advances in the sector since GT&T took over 10 years ago and Guyanese have come a long way from having to travel from around the country to Georgetown to join queues for hours at the Bank of Guyana building to call someone overseas.
Customers also no longer have to wait for hours or days to get connected to a party overseas - it's almost instant communication now.
True, GT&T has not fulfilled the programme it planned when it took over the operations from the state in January 1991 and many are at their wits end waiting to be connected to the system after years.
But there has been progress and the firm, after 10 years, now has to deliver on its promises and face the prospect of competition.
Its critics maintain it could have achieved far more and its services are at times far from satisfactory.
But on this 10th anniversary, it deserves recognition for what it has achieved.
And it has chosen to mark the occasion with two significant developments - a new cable link-up with Suriname and French Guiana and other countries offering more advanced amenities, and the seven digit system of calling on the telephone.
General Manager, Ms Sonita Jagan said Tuesday that GT&T was still working towards the goal of having a phone in every house, but pointed out that with the new cable link, customers will be able to have video conferences, tele medicine and distance learning, among other facilities.
"It will allow the opening up of any area from a telecommunication point of view."
She said the cable venture is GT&T's gift to Guyana and it reflects the local phone company's commitment to developing telecommunication in Guyana.
Those on the phone waiting list will want her to deliver soon on the promise because a phone in the home is today no longer a luxury.
GT&T has quite a way to go to appease its critics but it has some cause for celebration on the 10th anniversary.
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