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– telephone company disappointedOne day before the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) would have launched one of the country’s biggest technological initiatives, the city’s administrators and Government have clashed over the removal of a number of billboards hyping the event.While GT&T yesterday said that the puzzling “unfortunate” incident would in no way hold back today’s “emagine” launch of its DSL’s superfast internet and a host of other services, the Mayor and Councillors of Georgetown (M&CC) are crying foul.GT&T’s officials: From left is Finance Controller, Royston Rachpaul; Chief Financial Officer, Yog Mahadeo, and Wystan Robertson, Director Marketing and Sales.City Hall has blasted the removal of the signs which were knocked down on Tuesday from various parts of the city.GT&T had contracted Impressions, a private company,cheap jerseys, to build and erect up to 10 signs around the city. Impressions was also to request permission to erect the signs which cost an estimated $100,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China,000 each.Permission to erect the signs was granted mid-June by the City Engineers Department,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, a department of the M&CC, it was disclosed yesterday.The signs were supposed to have been taken down today after the launch of the new services, GT&T officials said yesterday.Yesterday, Minister of Public Works and Communication, Robeson Benn, said that no permission was given by Central Government to erect the signs, which were on government reserves. The Minister said that he was unaware that the signs belonged to GT&T.Illegal actsM&CC, in a strongly worded statement yesterday, said that it is gravely concerned over what appears to be illegal actions by state officials who “seem to be attempting to usurp the authority of the council to exercise control over its parapets and other thoroughfares”.Actions like these, the Council said, would affect the efforts of M&CC to generate revenue to fulfill its financial obligations to its contractors and workers.“We refer to the breaking up and removal of GT&T signs on Council’s reserves; at Croal Street, Aubrey Barker Road, South Ruimveldt; at the junction of Church and Main Streets; Church and Camp Streets, and on Merriman Mall.”The Council, in maintaining that it has jurisdiction over those locations, said that it approved the placement of the signs on its reserves for a short period.“However, they were removed by representatives of the Ministry of public works and Communication; without our knowledge.”According to M&CC, the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01, is clear- “the Council has the authority and the right to give permission, to anyone, to erect signs, on its reserves.”The same law also gives the Council the power to permit anyone or any business to erect signs on its parapets, the statement said.“Also the placement of such signs generates much needed revenue for the council.At a time when the council is doing all things possible to garner money to pay its contractors and workers, the Ministry has set about removing and destroying the signs.”M&CC also drew reference to an incident in which “that very Ministry seized the Council’s car park at the Stabroek Market—a project which earned the Municipality money.“Council takes a very serious view of this situation. It is bringing this to the attention of the public to raise awareness of the challenges it faces in its effort to provide service to its citizens.”Contacted yesterday, Minister Benn had a different version.  The Ministry of public works and Communication are controlling the areas where the signs were pulled down.According to Benn, the signs were seen and then checks were made within the Ministry to determine whether any permission was granted. There were no requests to erect the signs at the Ministry level.“We are not aware that the signs are GT&T. They just say “emagine” but not anything else . They were illegal and therefore they were taken down.”The signs, along with the support structures, were taken to the Kingston compound of the Ministry where it was placed.PuzzledYesterday, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of GT&T, Yog Mahadeo, said that he was driving Tuesday afternoon when he received a call that some men were “destroying the robot signs”.He went down to the Camp and Church Streets junction where he saw a number of men using a chainsaw to take down the structures. The men identified themselves as workers of the Ministry.“At that stage,Cheap MLS Jerseys, I could not have done anything. They were instructed to take it down.”Mahadeo, who was flanked by his Director of Marketing and Sales, Wystan Robertson, and Finance Controller, Royston Rachpaul, was puzzled, noting that had anyone found a problem with the signs, that person could have placed a notice on the television to remove them within a certain time and even put measures in place to have that party bear the costs of the ads.“I don’t know who has the jurisdiction. We can only be guided by M&CC’s permission. As a matter of fact, we were prepared to take the signs down immediately after the launch. We don’t know where the signs are and with the LCDS…it is wasted…we could have recycled the materials.”Declaring GT&T’s optimism, even in the face of the removal of the signs,Wholesale Jerseys From China, the official said that the company was extremely disappointed and frustrated at what happened.“I still believe that we are going to mature and develop ourselves to a point where these things do not happen again.”Mahadeo pointed out that GT&T just does not cut off anybody’s phones— notices are sent.But the official does not believe that the incident will setback the plans to roll-out the new services which are all part of the features of the multi-million fibre optic cable that landed in Guyana earlier this year.“GT&T has come out like a shining star. We give a different meaning to advertising. On Robb Street and Avenue of the Republic, we have the biggest billboard in the country. Yes, we have literally taken advertising to another level.”According to Mahadeo, with the imaginative “Robot” ads, on the theme of “emagine”, the buzz on the new services was in the air of Guyana. “It was killed basically…but unfortunately it does not deter us.”The official also noted that nobody has since contacted the company on the removal of the signs.“To be honest, we don’t know who to talk to. We don’t know where the signs are now. We are, however, hoping for the best.”In May, GT&T said that the multi-billion-dollar fibre optic cable would make internet connection in Guyana, among the fastest in the region.Not only will current internet speed be increased fourfold, a whole slew of additional features, including high speed internet, home monitoring, mobile monitoring and gaming, will now be possible.Banks, companies with branches and other similar organizations will all benefit from the low cost of bandwidth.While, GT&T had plugged US$30M to bring the cable,Wholesale Jerseys, additional features to fully optimize the potential of the cable will see another US$20M-US$30M being added, GT&T had disclosed.The deal to bring the cable to Guyana from Trinidad, through Suriname, was signed in December 2008.GT&T had announced that it has moved into a “partnership mode” with several businesses in which the company will ensure internet connections and then work with businesses to provide computers and other equipment. Recently, government announced that it is bringing a fibre optic cable from Brazil to help improve its “e-governance”.
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