Ned arrived back from his walk around the city early – he was looking to wake up early to catch the first water taxis to Caye Caulker.
He found Janielle, Leo and Andy once again on the veranda enjoying the cool evening breeze after a hot day.
"You still yarning about the old GST?" He asked.
"Right now it's the VoIP Janielle's vexed about," Andy said.
"At least it's a new set of initials," Leo said.
"What's wrong with Voice Over Internet Protocol?" Ned had to ask.
"Nothing's wrong with it," Janielle said, "Except that BTL doesn't want us to have it."
"Well there's more initials I know," Ned said, "A bloke in Placencia said it stands for Betta Try Later, and after tryin' to call home, I understand. But at least you can say it's expensive…" the Kiwi said.
"VoIP is out of our hands," Andy replied.
"You're a democracy, aren't you? Nothin's out of your hands. "People living in a democracy pretty much deserve what they get, 'ey."
At this everyone had to spend a moment of quiet reflection. "All we can do is try," Janielle said, "But right now they're making it so's we can't use it."
"Crikey! That's all I use at home for all long distance, and our phone service is about a quarter of what yours is…
"What's gonna happen when travel agents and tour operators use it to cut their operating costs, but they can't contact you here at the Sea Breeze?
"And if a business man, either vacationing or investing finds he can't use his favourite, cheap means of communication, what's he gonna think about Belize?
"You're gonna have an image problem that will hurt investment and travel numbers."
"Well, it's also hurting Belizeans right now that we don't have access to cheaper calls," Janielle said.
"Especially with so many Belizeans livin' in the US," Leo added.
"You're right! And I'd do somethin' about it quick smart. Let the politicians know. Sounds like you sent a good message this last local election. And who's the regulatory authority? You must have one"
"The PUC," Leo said.
"Well then, let them know how you feel. You gotta remember that they represent the majority, not the few."
"Well, that's the way it's supposed to be…" Janielle said, getting up heavily for a cup of coffee.
"First GST, now BTL, VoIP, PUC, PUP and UDP, CSME, GATS… don't people use words anymore? I'm gonna go shoot some pool. You wanna come Leo?"
"OK" Leo answered.