BTIA MEMBERSHIP SURVEY – VoIP – Does blocking VoIP affect YOU?

The BTIA (Belize Tourism Industry Association) has issued a Membership Survery regarding VoIP: 

Have you been a regular user of Skype, Vonage, SpeakEasy, VerizonSpeak and others? Noticed that lately you've been experiencing trouble connecting and utilizing these services? Silent moments, repeated sounds, buzzes?Here's the good news: it's almost certainly fixable. The bad news? WE MUST lobby the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to fix it.
VoIP customers around the world are discovering that their calls cannot be connected because telecom companies (like BTL) are blocking the movement of such traffic across the net.

It turns out that BTL has jammed the signal on VoIP (voice over internet protocol). They have gone as far as jamming chat and messenger programs like GoogleTalk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Voice and other. What this means, simply, is that BTL is mandating what you should and should not do with your internet connection.

This continues to create a monopoly which BTL should no longer have and forces us to continue to pay exorbitant prices per minute for international calls. It is unwarranted for Belizeans to be held hostage by one company who already makes a substantial profit with fixed lines, cellular services, Internet fee and various other services.

The BTIA would like your assistance in surveying the effects of BTL's actions on providing your products and services. Once we have ascertained the extent of effect, we will forward an official position to the PUC.


Does BTL's actions in blocking VoIP affect your business adversely?

_______ Yes or _______ NOIf the answer is Yes, kindly state some reason why:


8 Responses to BTIA MEMBERSHIP SURVEY – VoIP – Does blocking VoIP affect YOU?

  1. Arne Roedhall says:

    Yes, and I speak for many! All tourism as well as retirees and investors are affected adversely by this, as are all Belizians. How do they conduct international business or reach out to increase tourism from and in other countries? Surely, telecommunications in one means by which this is done – or could be if it wasn’t cost prohibitive. Belize could reach out and telmarket all kind of things and services at the rates paid in neighboring countries. BTL charges exhorbitant rates. 35-40 times more than Honduras for instance. Tourist do not care to call home with those rates and feel they are taken advantage of. If there is any effect from this on Tourism – it can only be negative! What? If they pay more than Belize will provide im prived service to them? No, of course not! Wake up! BTL: check cellphone usage – it’s not down as a result of lower rates is it? No, it’s UP! As in Wake Up! You can make more money by unblocking VOIP and lowering your rates~ Granted the rate decrease only goes so far but the spending remains the same. Stop hurting the economy and yourselves. If you were not a monopoly you would not hurt the economy, but you are thus you stifle general economic growth, and that in turn will stifle your own growth.

  2. lucy says:

    i agree 100 percent…i got a new pc and tried to download skype and i’m not even allowed to download. this is ridiculous!

  3. Logan says:

    Yes, my business is affected. I float between Belize and the states regularly and I need to be able to keep tabs on my business. Regular calls to Belize from the states are $4 a minute! Making a free VoIP to VoIP call is a no brainer here. If I need to call somebody else in Belize that does not have a VoIP phone, then I pay whatever rate per minute, but it is much less expensive.

    It has also affected my personal life as I have to make numerous calls to the states on a regular basis. I work for a software company in the states and absolutely need to be connected via the phone. BTL charges WAY too much for this to be a viable solution for me. Thanks BTL, you’re making it an easier decision to no longer live in or promote Belize to others. I used to speak highly of where I lived in San Pedro and Belize, but now all I can think about is the corruption, shady politics, and greedy utility company owners. Sure there is corruption in the states, but it doesn’t hit me personally and so directly where I can’t function on a daily basis without being charged out the ying yang. The funny thing is that the GOB hardly does anything to put BTL in its place. GOB took away the legal monopoly, but not the actual monopoly. It seems like BTL runs Belize and the GOB, not the other way around… talk about a company having too much power.

  4. bfic says:

    BTL is now owned again my Michael Ashcroft. The current GOB is simply a front for his greed. Thusly they not quite two separate interests. I have heard from many BTL workers that since he regained controlling interest in the company many shady changes have been made. This is all very sickening. Logan, I completely understand your sentiment of losing pride in a country that you’ve touted for so long. What concerns me is the reluctance of any considerable political figure in Belize to take this up as an issue…

  5. Drew Travers says:

    This is such a HUGE issue! We are retired here in Belize, but my wife does solo health care consulting in the States, and her business is greatly affected by the blocking of Voip services. The recent ruling by the Belize PUC does nothing to help. Computer to computer Voip is rarely useful for the conduct of business activities. We spend more than $400 BZE per month for BTL services (phone and DSL) and what does it get us? There has to be a “reality check” here for BTL. The more they insist on this absurd position, the fewer customers they will have.

  6. Peter Bayley says:

    BTL blocking of VoIP (Skype in my case) has negatively affected my international consulting due to increased costs. Belize may lose another resident.

  7. Rose Roney says:

    I too have been held back in my web and telephone based work by not being able to use Skype. The company I work for won’t pay the telephone charges.
    If I can’t resolve this problem, my plans to winter in Belize will be compromised.
    Thanks for your interest in solving this problem,
    Rose Roney

  8. Frank says:

    Everyone at BTL needs to die!!!!

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