The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) is now rolling out its high speed Blaze internet service in select areas across the country. According to the company’s website, the service will be provided in three options via a fiber connection to the home.
These configurations include Fiber 5 for $8,999 with Up to 5 Mbps, Fiber 20 $10,999 with Up to 20 Mbps and Fiber 50 for $13,999 with up to Up to 50 Mbps. Activation will cost $12,000 including an equipment rental of $600 monthly and a demonstration can be seen this Saturday at the company’s Blaze expo.
Current service areas include the East Coast of Demerara: Ogle, Courida Park, Goedverwagting, Atlantic Gardens, Happy Acres, Le Ressouvenir and Felicity. Areas on the East Bank of Demerara includes D’Aguiar’s Park, Nandy Park, Peter’s Hall, Providence, Republic Park and Republic Gardens and for the West Bank, La Grange, La Retraite, Bagotsville and Nismes.
While the Blaze internet service is not the first residential service of its kind in the country, this new GTT offering appears to be competitive as well as complementary to its existing DSL service as customers are given the option to upgrade. Amidst a storm of complaints on the company’s Facebook page, customer service feedback indicated that the benefits of the new service is as follows:
– 50Mbps vs 1.5Mbps = 30x faster
– Complimentary fixed voice over IP line
– Complimentary video and radio
– Much more reliable
– Much more secure
– No buffering of YouTube or Netflix videos
– Works will with Smart TVs
With these options, the service will be in direct competition with the existing E-Network OnFibre service, a similar offering coverage selected areas in Georgetown to Houston, LBI and ECD according to their website. However, the advantages here for GTT is that their service will be much cheaper for faster advertised speeds when compared to E-Networks’s bundled offering of 3mbps residential internet with a its DreamTV service at a cost of G $20,000.
In a letter to customers, GTT’s CEO Justin Nedd said the goal of the Blaze service and in extension the goal of the company is to bring connectivity to as many communities as possible, “we’re investing over $3 billion not just in high speed internet but also in making much needed network upgrades, I am making sure that every dollar is being used to create a mobile and broadband network we can all be proud of” he said.
Just last month, the country’s Public Utilities Commission had approved the application of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) to increase its landline rates and reduce the international rates on calls and this too was addressed by the CEO.
“We know how important connectivity is to you, which is why we welcome the rate adjustments from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The new rates will allow us to reduce the costs that you pay on overseas calls and include some minimal increases for some existing products and services” Nedd said.
Earlier in 2017 GTT had decreased the overall cost of its DSL internet while increasing the entry cost and absorbing new taxes on the service. However, the rate adjustments from the Public Utilities Commission will come into effect on August 1, 2017 and represents a win for the utility company to increase rates of key services given the increased use of smartphone applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook messenger for both local and overseas calls.
While the GTT Blaze internet service is expected to be a gradual roll out, it will be the first commercial fiber service in the country to offer broadband speeds of 50Mbps at the residential level. GTT says they will provide more information on Saturday 15th July at their Blaze high speed internet expo, Providence National Stadium from 1:00pm to 8:00pm.