GOB Release: Copy of Musa/BTL Accommodation Agreement

September 6, 2009

WOW!

These documents are amazing.  They talk about exclusive rights to do business and to infrastructure (ARCOS), VoIP, guaranteed profits, tax breaks, sweet property deals… BTL’s raping of Belizeans is breathtaking – and here is the proof – plain and simple.

http://www.governmentofbelize.gov.bz/accomm_agreement.html

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Belize (BTL) blocks VPN Connections

March 9, 2009

Belize Telemedia Ltd. has begun to block VPNs (virtual private networks).  This includes PPTP/GRE, IPSEC and SSL.  They seem to be implementing these blocks arbitrarily but reports are coming in from all over the country that BTL has misused its power once again in blocking users from using common security mechanisms across their network.  VPNs have been a well known method for users to cicumvent BTL VoIP blocking.  This is simply outrageous.  Dean, are you listening?


Reporter – Nice Editorial on BTL State Of Affairs

August 16, 2008

Original:

http://www.reporter.bz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2966&Itemid=

By Harry Lawrence – Publisher

It is clear to the man on the street that Belize Telemedia Limited may be acting under instructions from the man who says he no longer controls B.T.L., Mr. Michael Ashcroft.

Mr. Ashcroft is the only person who has an interest in silencing Channel 7 and Kremandala TV.B.T.L. supplies Channel 5 with fiber-optic cable access because it owns Channel 5.

B.T.L. does not own the fiber-optic cable line to Belize. But it is the only company with access to this line, through its corporate headquarters on St. Thomas Street.

B.T.L. paid a lot for this fiber-optic trunk-line connection, and the company is not now willing to share it with others who are not of its ilk.

The underwater fiber-optic line is owned by a provider who is willing to splice in another trunk line, but the fee for this service is U.S. one million.

There are compelling reasons why Belize should get this second link, and we shall try to explain them here:

1. Belize Telemedia Limited has a monopolistic strangle-hold on fiber-optics in Belize. It uses this strangle-hold to reward its friends and punish the competition.

2. B.T.L. uses its strangle hold to promote the Belize Bank and its operations, not only with cheap telephone calls and unlimited Internet access, but it holds the rest of the business community to ransom by:

(a) charging exhorbitant fees for domestic and overseas calls,

(b) refusing to offer voice over internet protocol in Belize, thereby stunting the growth of communications and other communication – related businesses.

(c) enjoying an ufair advantage over all other businesses, who are forced to pay B.T.L.’s high rates.

(d) allowing the Belize Bank, or some related entity operating from 60 Market Square to grab a large chunk of the fiber-optic capacity for the dot Bz domain-name activities such as on-line gambling and tele-marketing.

(e) Because these activities are regarded as offshore businesses, B.T.L. and its Belize Bank associates pay no taxes whatsoever on what is seen as a multi-million dollar empire of smut and gambling.

(f) B.T.L. has thus become a law unto itself; a corporation operating independently within a government, thumbing its nose at the government.

(g) Telecommunications is an essential industry. Those who control it control the country’s development.

Having a second fiber-optic trunk line would end the B.T.L. monopoly. It would open up VOIP options for the entire country. It would give new scope to independent competition in the media and to new telecommunication players who might want to come in. It would save the country and government millions of dollars in lower fees. A second fiber-optic trunk line would clip B.T.L.’s wings and usher in a new dawn of cheaper telecommunications.

There is one obstacle however – money!

But if the Government of Belize could find a way to partner with the private sector, perhaps they could together manage the down-payment for another fiber-optic trunk line, and share the profits.

It appears to be a gilt-edged investment.


Anchor Free Website Blocked

March 29, 2008

The anchor free website (www.anchorfree.com) is blocked from Belize.  Thanks for the good ole cencorship BTL.


Reporter – Corporate fight brewing over ownership of telecom towers

February 23, 2008

Original Story

http://www.reporter.bz/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2596

By Adolph Lucas Jr. – Staff Reporter

A corporate fight is brewing between powerhouse Telemedia Ltd. and Southern Cable Net investor Mike Duncker over eighteen steel towers once owned by Intelco.

Cable Investor Mike Duncker claims that he bought the land with the towers from the DFC at auction. But Telemedia, the telephone giant, insist that the towers belong to them.

Darren Duncker told the Reporter that the row over the tower occurred on Monday 11 February over the 240 foot steel tower located at Mile 8. Eight employees of Telemedia were in the process of taking down the tower, piece by piece. The police stepped in to stop .

“The tower and the land were bought at a DFC auction last year.” Dunker said. The title papers prove that Mike Dunker owns them.

On Tuesday, February 12 at La Democracia, where there is another tower we saw armed BDF ean and two KBH men – one of which was also armed,” Darren Duncker told Reporter.

The Dunckers’ had to call in the police again and the BDF and KBH guards were removed because Duncker was able to show proof that he had bought the land and all of the erections thereon.

The dispute continued on Thursday 14 February, Valentine’s Day. The Dunckers had placed locks on the building. They claim that BTL had sent men to break these locks and install their own locks.

Hezron Cadle, a director of Southern Cable Net Ltd told the Reporter, “B.T.L has no right to enter those premises. We own all the Intelco Towers.”

The tower at Mile 8 is a part of a network of 18 towers formerly owned by Intelco.

Duncker bought the land and the erections at a public auction authorized by the Development Finance Corporaton. Southern Cable Net Limited has plans to do what -20Intelco tried to do and failed. Southern Cable wants the network of towers for a networ of cellularl phones it intend to introduce.

According to Cadle, Southern Cable Net has a system which is far superior to B.T.L’s system. The company plans to introduce a telephone network using voice over Internet protocol or VOIP. It plans to take on BTL in head-on competition.

The Reporter has made several attempts to contact Telemedia’s Manager of Marketing and Sales, Mrs. Karen Bevans for comments, but was unable to reach her.


Almost June 2007 – BTL Still Censoring Belizeans.

May 29, 2007

Since March of 2006, BTL has been selectively deciding what internet content Belizeans can access. This site has chronicled their blatant deceit and suppression of independent choice. The colonial lords and ladies, after being outcast from Britain to Belize, have decided to make our country their own personal experiment in economic shame. BTL is no exception. It is locked in the stranglehold of the “Ashcroft Curse”. Prices go up, Mikey gets richer, and Belize falls even further behind in many of the key social, educational and infrastructure measures as compared to the rest of the world.

Internet (IP) voice and video are now global standards in communication for many industries. Many people have simply circumvented BTL’s blocks, and some have gone so far as canceling BTL in favor of an alternate ISP. It has been some time since this site was updated. We believe it is time for a reminder on how exactly to circumvent BTL and get what the constitution affords you despite the criminal actions of Lord Ashcrook:

  • If you simply want to dump BTL, your options are SMART/SpeedNet or satellite. The satellite options are still DirecWay, Starband and now iDirect. We may cover these options as they pertain to VoIP usage in further posts. The goal for this post is to update residents of Belize on bypassing BTL’s VoIP blocks on their high-speed DSL internet services.
  • If you use Skype or any other PC-based telephony service, the answer is a software VPN (virtual private network). Most people have used HotspotVPN and Witopia SecureMyWiFi. For technical technical reasons beyond the scope of this post, it is always better to opt for a “UDP-based” VPN. AnchoFree is another variety of VPN that is FREE, but quality has varied greatly with AF expecially on 128kbps connections (BTL’s $100bz/mo ADSL service).
  • If you use Vonage or Packet8 or any other SIP adapter-based product, there are two options. The first is to turn your PC, running the PC-based VPN software, into a “router/encrypt-er” for your Vonage box. Many of the country’s IT professional have been quietly implementing this service for their customers. Ask around and you will likely find a technician willing to help you set this up.
  • The second option for Vonage users to purchase a dedicated VPN router, a hardware based solution. This alleviates the need for a PC to run the VPN and generally results in a much more stable and clear connection for the voice/video call. This option requires a service provider in the US or any country outside Belize to provide a VPN server to which your hardware can connect.
  • The last option is to find a service provider either PC-based or adapater-based that uses the IAX protocol. IAX is a protocol developed along with the open source PBX named Asterisk and is currently NOT blocked in Belize. IAX is a less common IP voice protocol to its big brother SIP, but it works just the same. Future posts will include direct links to IAX service providers and IAX hardware.

The goal of this site is to protect the rights of the residents of Belize. We’re not interested in bowing to BTL’s intimidation. Some comments on this site in the past have suggested that these solutions should be kept quiet. We respect that opinion, but we must also respectfully disagree. BTL is acting criminally. BTL is a piece of a massive criminal scheme to make a few rich British Lords a bit richer. In their circles, Belizeans are a big JOKE. Why should we curb our mutual disrespect and disdain for their behaviour?


Channel 5 – B.T.L. Introduces Low Cost “Webtalk” Service

December 19, 2006

Original Story:

http://www.channel5belize.com/archive_detail_story.php?story_id=17624 

They refuse to let Belizeans take advantage of low cost computer based phone services like Skype or Vonage and for that and other reasons few people will be singing the praises of B.T.L. this Christmas. But as of December fifteenth the phone company is offering an alternative that, while not as economical as we’d like, at least is a whole lot cheaper than we had before. News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports.

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
It’s called the Webtalk and according to Senior Marketing Rep. Lisa Stanford, it’s just one more means by which B.T.L. customers can make cheaper international calls.

Lisa Stanford, Sr. Marketing Rep., B.T.L.
“It’s B.T.L.’s internet phone service and with that service customers could make calls from their PCs to a regular telephone number or a mobile number to destinations over the world. It doesn’t have to be the U.S.; it’s international calls at very low rates.”

And while you might not need a phone, you will need…

Lisa Stanford
“They need to have computer, internet access-–preferably B.T.L.’s high speed internet access-–and they also need to have a headset. We’re recommending that they have a headset that they could have on the ears like you did, we’re recommending a one hundred twenty-eight k high speed internet connection.”

You will also need to have access to an international credit card.

Lisa Stanford
“It’s simple to register, to get on to the web site, and it’s just one two, three steps, and you’re on, and you can make calls.”

Step One, log on to http://www.webtalk.btl.net

Lisa Stanford
“Once you are here, the first thing you are gonna do as a new customer is register your account. So click on register and fill out your necessary information.”

Step two, Purchase calling time

Lisa Stanford
“We have four denominations, five, ten, twenty, and thirty. They are all U.S. dollars. You click on the one that you want, and it will automatically change here. You don’t have to write that in. Then you put in your information, your credit card number, your security code and everything that’s needed in order to purchase it.”

Step three, download the software.

Lisa Stanford
“Every time you want to use the service, you just need to put in your username and your password and login to the service.”

Step four, place your call.

Lisa Stanford
“With this service you just dial the country code. For the U.S. it’s going to be one and then the area code and then the seven digit number.”

Webtalk also comes with features like a phonebook, call history, and how much money you have remaining. Stanford says another plus is that the service doesn’t tie you down to one computer.

Lisa Stanford
“Once you’ve registered your account, you could use that account while you are travelling abroad, you could use it while you’re at home or at work, it doesn’t have to be stationary, anywhere that you are, and you have access to internet and your credit card, you could use the service. The reviews have been very good, and the service being that it’s voice over IP is very good. So we’re recommending that you know people could come out, they could use it.”

Like its other promotions, calls on Webtalk get cheaper after five minutes, Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

For more information on rates or to try the service, log on to http://www.webtalk.btl.net. As for those other lower cost computer phone services, many Belizeans have discovered that there are ways to electronically beat the system and continue to do so.