This should come as no surprise to any of us… but here is more proof that the GOB controls BTL and they are going to use it as a tool to squeeze every penny out of every Belizean. Not to mention keeping us in the stone age… The real question is can the UDP actually take this on as an issue or will they continue to hold their hands out?
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Has government made another secret telecom agreement that will mean more expensive phone calls for you? The first secret agreement, seven of them actually, were contained in a letter that the Prime Minister wrote to then majority shareholder Jeffrey Prosser in February of 2004 when he agreed to illegalize voice over the internet calls. Well it seems that government has made similar promises to Michael Ashcroft’s companies when they replaced Prosser as majority shareholders.
The UDP today released a September 18th letter from BTL managing director Dean Boyce to Utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca and the PUC Chairman Roberto Young. It says basically that the voice over internet guidelines which were finalized in June, after many months of debate and a massive public forum, are just words on a paper, because government will not, in fact, can not implement them.
Boyce’s letter says, “BTL has received assurances from the Minister that the guidelines are not…enforceable obligations, and that the PUC will take no steps to enforce or implement their contents, in any way.” And while a ministerial assurance is one thing, a government undertaking is another, and that’s just what Boyce says he’s got in the next paragraph. It says, “BTL has been given an undertaking that no class license holder will be able to use, or permit use of voice over internet for any telecommunications traffic originating or terminating within Belize.” Boyce’s letter closes by saying that BTL will continue to operate on the bases of those assurances.
We were unable to reach PUC Chairman Roberto Young or Utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca for comment.
In a release attached to the letter, the UDP says it is a betrayal and that the “the public would continue to be shafted and BTL’s blocking of VoIP would continue to be maintained.” The UDP statement demands that the Prime Minister make a statement on it.