April 3, 2006
PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
59 Regent Street
Belize City Belize
Dear Chairman Gilbert Canton:
I am writing to seek your support in our efforts to obtain fair and reasonable telecommunication services. Belize Telecommunications Ltd (BTL) is stripping us of our right to be treated fairly and justly.
They have jammed the signals on VOIP (voice over internet protocol) devices marketed by such companies as Vonage, SpeakEasy, VerizonSpeak, TomatoVine and others. They have gone as far as jamming chat and messenger programs like Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Voice and others. If BTL can prevent Belizeans from using the Internet to communicate using the argument that we should be using their telephone services, the postal service could argue that they have a right to block BTLís telecommunication system as less Belizeans write letters as they rely more on telephones and even more so nowÖ the Internet.
This continues to create a monopoly which BTL should no longer have and forces us to continue paying exorbitant prices per minute for overseas calls. They sell TCP/IP but donít give us all the features; yet, they still charge us a full price.
It is unwarranted for a people to be held hostage by one company who already makes a substantial profit with fixed lines, cellular services, Internet fees and various other services.
I urge you to do what is right and fight the big fight. We are not able to do it alone and individually could not possibly fight them in a court of law due to finances. The PUC should not even entertain talks of this jamming as a possibility. The monopoly is officially over, but the people are still held hostage by the actions of BTL. Why should we be thrown back into the ice age when the world around us is booming with technology!
Cc: Hon. Ralph Fonseca
Minister of Communications
Ministry of Communications