Further news coverage and opinions are sure to come. BFIC is attempting to obtain a video, audio or written transcript from the meeting. Here are the basic facts from today's meeting:
The meeting started a bit late (9:10) and was well attended, 200+ people. BTL was NOT represented, nor were any major PUC figures or goverment representatives (GOB) participating in the discussions.
The PUC organizers did a decent job in putting the event together. There were plenty of comfortable chairs and juice/snacks/coffee were available in the back of the room. There was a long panel table and podium set up in the front of the room and a large presentation screen to the left. Very professional event with only minor technical glitches.
Channel 5 and Channel 7 Local News were there with cameras. There were at least two other professional looking cameras (crews) in the room. Many in the crowd took pictures with their own cameras.
There were many different views expressed. The panel speakers each represented their "perspectives" on VoIP and were all well prepared. The crowd was boisterous but generally respectful to the PUC organizers, panel members and each other. There were many that spoke with passion, as was to be expected. 99% of the crowd was in support of VoIP technology, vehemently against BTL's "blocking" of phone services. It seemed that everyone agreed the only "threats" which were being considered weren't about VoIP technology and more about the impediment of basic civil and constitutional rights.
A copy of the program:
1) Welcome / Consumer Participation in the Regulatory Process – Ms. Danalyn Myvette – Director, Consumer Affairs PUC (Also acted as moderator throughout the meeting)
2) Sector Overview – Mr. Roberto Young – Director, Telecommunications PUC (introduced to crowd as having 15+ at BTL)
3) The International Perspective – Dr. Wim Van Dijk – Netherlands Telecom Consulting
4) Dialing up to VoIP – A Legal Perspective – Mr. Kevin Arthurs – Attornery at Law
5) Opportunities and Threats of VoIP in Belize (Panel Presenters)
a) Ministry of Education – Mr. Kevin Harris – University of Belize
b) ISP's Perspective – Mr. Errol Cattouse / Mr. MIchael Kong – ISP Association
c) Business Perspective – Mr. Gustavo Giron / Mr. Israel Marin – Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry
d) Citizen's Perspective – Mr. Niall Gillet – Burrel Boom Village
e) Presentations from the floor
7) Thank You – Ms. Danalyn Myvette
Meeting Ended around 12:35pm