Packet Clearing House is an internet nonprofit service organization that focuses on internet economy and helps developing nations and other countries to strengthen their internet capacity. Although this year an Internet Exchange Point was established locally; regionally, Belize still has the lowest speed at the highest prices – a two-meg connection costs one hundred and twenty-one dollars and twenty-two cents. So what about the quality and access to internet services when compared to the rest of the Caribbean?
Bevil Wooding, Internet Strategist, PCH
“Well that’s an interesting question. If you look at the statistics, if you look at the bare numbers, Belize actually ranks quite poorly in the region and actually the hemisphere. And there are a number of factors for that poor ranking. One of those has to do with the high cost of internet service which is a barrier to expanded access and to user uptake. But if you look on the bright side, you would see that Belize has taken some very powerful strides forward as it relates to strengthening its internet infrastructure and investing in human capacity and human resource development surrounding the internet economy. Of course there are still some things to do and still some areas that need focus. One of them is the area of legislation or policy support. How easy is it for an internet business to be started and to be sustained in the local economy? The other of course is the ongoing vexing issue of access and affordability. We need more internet access, faster internet speed, more reliable and resilient internet connectivity all across belie if we are to seriously take advantage of the benefits of the internet economy.”