But while B.T.L. was scoring a few points with students, the rest of Belize was expressing serious concerns about the company’s attempts to limit competition, particularly in the area of VOIP, those voice over internet protocols that allow consumers to access cheap phone service over the internet. To B.T.L. boss, Dean Boyce, the controversy is all about fairness.
“The problem we have is with the issue of licenses to companies that will target the most profitable locations, the most profitable customers and those services without adding any value to the industry or to the country. So we’ve made our position known over a period of time and we would be expecting that the industry would be developed, and the policies would be developed in a way that properly supports the country’s telecom’s industry. Everybody recognizes that the telecoms industry is absolutely vital for the economy and if it’s not properly and fairly developed then there are going to be imbalances within the country and certain populations are going to end up suffering as a result.”
“But is that letter fair then that would give specifically just B.T.L. a get out of jail free card while the other license holders would be bounded to the P.U.C. regulations?”
“We have a license that’s an inch thick. These other new class licenses have one page without any obligations, so you tell me what’s fair.”
While on the subject of fairness, it might logically be asked what was fair about all those years of B.T.L.’s absolute monopoly, when the company racked up unconscionable profits from exorbitant rates on overseas phone calls.