make known; disclose. Communication: the exchange of ideas, messages or
information. Communication technology has come a long way over the years
and making phone calls is usually an easy task unless you are in Belize.
For at least the last six months, the people of San Pedro Town have been
forced to put up with ineffective phone systems. If someone is making an
inter-island call, nearly half of the time, it is necessary to call the
same number twice in order to reach the person they are calling. The
first time the number is dialed, it rings like there is no one at home.
Usually on the second attempt, the person answers and explains they were
at home but their phone did not ring minutes before that time.
Several residences and businesses, as well as
The San Pedro Sun, have been complaining
to Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL), the so-called "Value of
Voice," about not receiving phone calls
since September of last year. Residents pay $20 per month and businesses
$50 per month per phone line for the privilege of BTL service. Since this
newspaper had also invested in an answering machine, "Caller ID" and
"Call Waiting," it was unreasonable to think there should ever be a
single phone call missed. At that time, we were told to replace the phone
line that our answering machine was connected to. That made no
improvement in connections. The second time we were told BTL could find
no problem because when they called us, the call was completed.
In November, The San
Pedro Sun was still receiving complaints of people not
being able to contact the newspaper. At that time, it was learned from
customer service in Belize City, that BTL
technicians were aware of the problem
and "were working on it."
In defense of the San Pedro Town BTL office and repair
personnel, they have provided this newspaper with very good service. They
were reportedly told the same thing for the past six months, "that
technicians were working on it."
At Christmas, it was also learned that several e-mails were
also not received by the newspaper from people in and out of country.
Checking on the missed connection problem again, BTL assured us they were
"still working on the problem."
Last week, personnel from The San
Pedro Sun were told they could not be reached by phone,
again. This week, after several phone calls, it was finally revealed that
BTL is having trouble with their "switch" and that San Pedro Town and
other locations are experiencing the same plague of missed calls. The
good news is this is an "intermittent problem," and BTL "is monitoring
the situation." The bad news is there is no time frame for when this
problem will be rectified.
BTL spokesperson Liston Hall stated he understands the
loss of business that can occur from one missed phone call. He assured
the newspaper that BTL is in contact with the people who are responsible
for the faulty switch. BTL will update The San Pedro
Sun from time to time on any progress with this
situation. Anyone wishing to register a complaint may call Belize
Telecommunications Limited at 226-2199 or 227-7085.
No answer? This newspaper advises you to hang up and