Following dismissal of Florida case: Cel*Star pressing GT&T on interconnection
Stabroek News
February 27, 2004

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Start-up cellular company Cel*Star Guyana is again pressing the Guyana Tele-phone and Telegraph Com-pany (GT&T) to interconnect with it following the dismissal of a lawsuit filed in a Florida, USA court against Cel*Star executive Wesley Kirton.

The Florida court had ruled that Guyana is the appropriate forum for deliberation on the reliefs being sought by the plaintiffs against Kirton.

Cel*Star in a release yesterday said it views the successful outcome of the legal matter in the US as grounds for GT&T to recommence work under the Interconnec-tion Agreement signed between the companies last year.

Lawyers for GT&T were up to late yesterday afternoon studying the text of Cel*Star's release before advising their clients on an appropriate response.

Cel*Star's Chief Opera-tions Officer, Pierre Strasser said, "We hope that the dismissal of the case in the Florida court will provide sufficient assurance for GT&T to immediately resume implementation of our Intercon-nection Agreement."

He also expressed the wish that GT&T would support the avoidance of any unnecessary delays in ongoing proceedings before the High Court so that the validation of Cel*Star Guyana's ownership can be established as soon as possible.

Work on the competitive cellular service system has been stalled since October 2003 by GT&T's refusal to proceed with interconnection work while litigation brought against its CEO Kirton in Florida by his former business associates was pending.

However, with the February 20 dismissal of the matter in the Circuit Court of Seminole County, Florida Cel*Star is calling for work to be restarted immediately.

Cel*Star alluded to a recent press conference held by GT&T on January 29, in which its management cited the Florida dispute as the reason for holding up interconnection.

"With the dismissal of this lawsuit, we are hopeful that GT&T will put the interconnection work back on track. Cel*Star Guyana is ready to begin offering services as soon as we can install and test the interconnection with GT&T," Strasser said.