Channel 7 – What Ralph Fonseca Told Dean Boyce About VoIP

 Original Story: 

In June the Public Utilities Commission green-lighted Voice over Internet Protocol, VoIP, and began granting licenses. But last month the Opposition UDP exposed a letter dated September 18th from BTL’s Chairman Dean Boyce to Public Utilities Minister Ralph Fonseca in which Boyce stated, despite what the PUC said, he had been given certain assurances that there will be no licenses granted for other carriers to offer phone services using VoIP. The Prime Minister later told us he knows of no such assurance, but today Boyce today confirmed it to 7NEWS. He didn’t tell us what Minister Fonseca told him but Boyce told Keith Swift he made his concerns about VoIP known to Minister Fonseca and he believes that they will be accommodated.

Keith Swift,
What came out of your conversation with the Minister of Public Utilities?

Dean Boyce, BTL
“Well that is a subject of a separate discussion at some point but certainly we’ve expressed our points of view to a number of persons within the regulatory body and within the government and we would expect those points to be accommodated within any policy.”

Keith Swift,
From your conversation with the Minister, will these companies be allowed to operate?

Dean Boyce,
“We come back to the same point again, I think you should talk to the Minister about what his statement is.”

Keith Swift,
We’ve seen your letter to the Minister saying that he gave you an assurance so we just want to know where do we stand with VoIP.

Dean Boyce,
“I think it is reasonable for…the Ministry is supposed to set policy and does set policy and that will evolve over time. So I think you need to talk to the Minister concerned to determine their policy on the industry on a whole and all its various components and parts.”

Keith Swift,
Does that Ministry policy override PUC regulations, in your view?

Dean Boyce,
“The regulator needs to follow the law and the government’s policy on any particular subject so the regulator would work within the boundaries that have been set.”

Keith Swift,
So no straight answer on whether or not you got an assurance from the Minister about VoIP?

Dean Boyce,
“I think you need to talk to him about his official policy on the industry on a whole.”

Keith Swift,
Did you leave the conversation with the Minister content that BTL’s concerns will be addressed?

Dean Boyce,
“I was comfortable with the assurances that I have been given.”

Clear Contact, a consortium of cable and related interests, including Channel 7’s parent company, Tropical Vision, banded together and paid the PUC $50,000 for what’s called a ‘class license,’ which authorized the company to move voice as data throughout Belize, which would mean.


One Response to Channel 7 – What Ralph Fonseca Told Dean Boyce About VoIP

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