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#212996 - 04/20/06 11:59 PM BTIA VOIP survey
Katie Valk Offline
Belize Tourism Industry Association
Promoting sustainable eco-cultural tourism

MEMBERSHIP SURVEY
VoIP - Does blocking VoIP affect YOU?


Have you been a regular user of Skype, Vonage, SpeakEasy, VerizonSpeak and others? Noticed that lately you've been experiencing trouble connecting and utilizing these services? Silent moments, repeated sounds, buzzes?

Here's the good news: it's almost certainly fixable. The bad news? WE MUST lobby the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to fix it.

VoIP customers around the world are discovering that their calls cannot be connected because telecom companies (like BTL) are blocking the movement of such traffic across the net.

It turns out that BTL has jammed the signal on VoIP (voice over internet protocol). They have gone as far as jamming chat and messenger programs like GoogleTalk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Voice and other. What this means, simply, is that BTL is mandating what you should and should not do with your internet connection.

This continues to create a monopoly which BTL should no longer have and forces us to continue to pay exorbitant prices per minute for international calls. It is unwarranted for Belizeans to be held hostage by one company who already makes a substantial profit with fixed lines, cellular services, Internet fee and various other services.

The BTIA would like your assistance in surveying the effects of BTL's actions on providing your products and services. Once we have ascertained the extent of effect, we will forward an official position to the PUC.

SURVEY:

Does BTL's actions in blocking VoIP affect your business adversely? _______ Yes or _______ NO

If the answer is Yes, kindly state some reason why:

____________________________________________

____________________________________________

____________________________________________


Please note that all response will be kept confidential and only used collectively in providing the PUC with a specific position of the issue as it relates to the tourism industry.
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Below are some additional useful information to assist you in explanation of VoIP and the issues surrounding this technology.

What is VoIP and how does it work?

VoIP (often pronounced 'voype') is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol (IP).

What does that mean? VoIP is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some services using VoIP may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. Also, while some services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone through an adapter.

Members can also read the following article from the UK newspaper Guardian Unlimited entitled "Trouble on the line". You can find the full article at: http://technology.guardian.co.uk/online/insideit/story/0,,1747491,00.html.

Mr. Kurt N. Clare

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marketing & Information Officer
Belize Tourism Industry Association
#10 North Park Street,
Belize City, Belize, C.A.
Tel: 501-227-1144 or 227-5717 Ext. 28
Fax: 501-227-8710
BTIA Membership Forums @ www.btia.org
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#212997 - 04/23/06 03:08 AM Re: BTIA VOIP survey
Chris Offline
The BTL blocking of Yahoo's Messenger program is so insidious it doesn't just block you from making a call or chatting...it actually makes Messenger crash.

As there are so many items that Messenger allows you to access and use apart from the voice chat you stand to lose a lot of information if you don't save your work every few minutes.

I would say that BTL is guilty of an all-out assault on its Internet customers.

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#212998 - 04/24/06 04:47 PM Re: BTIA VOIP survey
Sir Isaac Newton Offline


For the last few months, VoIP users in Belize have been up in arms at what they perceive to be an organized effort by Belize Telecommunications Limited to block outgoing calls over Vonage, Skype and other Internet phone service providers.

Online forums have bristled with frustrated posts. The Vonage Forum has a busy thread on the subject. And last Friday, the Belize Free Internet Consortium posted this:

Have you been a regular user of Skype, Vonage, SpeakEasy, VerizonSpeak and others? Noticed that lately you've been experiencing trouble connecting and utilizing these services? Silent moments, repeated sounds, buzzes?Here's the good news: it's almost certainly fixable. The bad news? WE MUST lobby the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to fix it.
VoIP customers around the world are discovering that their calls cannot be connected because telecom companies (like BTL) are blocking the movement of such traffic across the net.

It turns out that BTL has jammed the signal on VoIP (voice over internet protocol). They have gone as far as jamming chat and messenger programs like GoogleTalk, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Voice and other. What this means, simply, is that BTL is mandating what you should and should not do with your internet connection.

This continues to create a monopoly which BTL should no longer have and forces us to continue to pay exorbitant prices per minute for international calls. It is unwarranted for Belizeans to be held hostage by one company who already makes a substantial profit with fixed lines, cellular services, Internet fee and various other services.

The BTIA would like your assistance in surveying the effects of BTL's actions on providing your products and services. Once we have ascertained the extent of effect, we will forward an official position to the PUC.

Well, on Wednesday, the Belize PUC will hold a hearing on the matter. Expect to hear from some very influential people, such as Andrew Godoy, director of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. “The Board is appalled by the actions of BTL,” Godoy tells the San Pedro, Belize Sun. "We have heard from many of our constituents and this is negatively impacting their business."


When the tourism industry in that part of the world gets fired up, they can move mountains- and governments. I mean, the Aruba tourism establishment yelled long and hard for some action on the Natalie Holloway case, and finally their influence seems to be prevailing over the connections of some of the suspect's families to the establishment. I

know that Belize is not Aruba, but there's tourism's loud voice campaigning against a monopoly. This one is going to get real interesting.

Trouble in the tropics: Belize telco accused of blocking VoIP Posted by Russell Shaw @ 6:13 am
_________________________
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

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#212999 - 04/24/06 05:20 PM Re: BTIA VOIP survey
Caye Connect Offline
Original Story:

http://blogs.zdnet.com/ip-telephony/?p=1048

Also check out the BFIC website for more meeting details:

http://bfic.wordpress.com/


COME TO THIS MEETING!!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Radisson Fort George, Belize City

Caracol Room

9 a.m. to 12 noon.

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#213000 - 05/05/06 10:24 PM Re: BTIA VOIP survey
GBZ39 Offline
Take cover, Vonage. Just weeks before the Internet-calling pioneer plans an initial share sale, rivals are planning their competitive attack. Verizon Communications (VZ) on May 3 said it would slice the price of its Web-calling plan by $10, to $24.95, below the price of Vonage's comparable package.

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