GTA responds to Governor after accusations - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GTA responds to Governor after accusations

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - GTA TeleGuam is responding to Governor Felix Camacho's call for the termination of the company's CEO, Dan Moffat, and executive vice-president of external affairs, Dan Tydingco. But the communication company is saying the bigger issue is that the funds are not needed and that the island is not underserved.

"If I were the board of directors that owns GTA, I would have Dan Moffat's job and Dan Tydingco's job on their table immediately, they should be terminated," strongly stated Governor Camacho on Monday.  

While the island's chief executive has fired off his feelings about the local communication company's management, Moffat says the controversy is rather over the Phase II, $89 million request for broadband stimulus funding and not the recent $8 million stimulus grant recently awarded to IT&E. That grant was for Phase I to develop infrastructure for Guam and the region.

In a news release, Moffat states "They maintain the broadband stimulus grant sought by IT&E is both unneeded and inappropriate. GTA feels Guam is the highest among the networks in the United States with the most extensive communication networks."  He adds that, "there is only a handful considered to be underserved."

Over the weekend a post was made on the blog StimulatingBroadband.com, alleging the governor wrote an endorsement letter to the feds, which resulted in the recent award to IT&E, to include that the company got preferential treatment because the governor's brother worked there. The governor in response said that his brother's employment at IT&E will not benefit from the federal dollars.

Camacho also said he didn't provide an endorsement for IT&E for the $8 million grant, but instead did write an endorsement for IT&E's Phase II grant application.  He added that all local communication companies were given the same opportunity for the Phase II grant.

Moffat meanwhile expressed his shock with the post on StimulatingBroadband.com, stating that, "While there is nothing inappropriate with individuals related to the governor holding employment at IT&E, he does feels that the Governor's Office should have disclosed the relationship."

Governor Camacho also said he was recently confronted by Moffat, threatening him that if he did not rescind the endorsement, then close to 150 jobs at GTA would be on the line.  However, Moffat responded by writing, "At no time did GTA level personal attacks or threats against the Governor or his brother, and if Governor Camacho interpreted our reaction as a personal attack, I personally apologize to him and his family."

Moffat says while the funding is excellent for broadband growth in areas needed such as the CNMI, Guam is not one of those areas. He is also confident that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will deny the Phase II $89 million request from IT&E for use in Guam.

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