The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Co. says damage to an undersea fiber-optic cable has caused a phone and Internet outage that affected much of the country along with neighboring Suriname.
People in both South American countries were unable to connect to the Internet or make overseas calls for several hours on Wednesday. The company says in a statement that both the "main fiber optic path out of Guyana" and a backup system failed. The company apologized for the outage but did not say what caused the problem.
Guyana Telephone and Telegraph is a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network, based in Beverly, Massachusetts.
The disruption occurred the day before Guyana's parliament is expected to debate a proposal that would end its monopoly on communication services and allow competitors to enter the market.
Explore further: Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov't pushback