REPORT #249 May 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

In order to just stay even with the rest of the world in competition and growth. Belize needs a telecommunications company that will lay fiber optic cable for communications fast, to all towns and villages. Locally, within a town and village, wireless communication seems to be the way to go. But the main trunk lines need to be fiber optic.

The price of fiber optic cable has dropped drastically over the last few years. Around South Florida, in the USA, the construction is constant and a never ending seeming nightmare. One wonders what they are doing, tearing up perfectly good grass, sod and sidewalks, then rebuilding them. Turns out, millions of miles of fiber optic cable are being laid all over Florida. Fiber optic cables are only two blocks away in two different directions in my residential area.

The answer is bandwidth. The new communications technologies, that now transmit both audio and video need bandwidth. The video consumes enormous bandwidth by the standards of yesteryear in copper wired Belize. There is no halting progress, if Belize is going to try and play catch up, the program of fiber optic cable connections in Belize has to be drastically and immediately accelerated. BTL the local monopoly better start connecting Punta Gorda, Pueblo Viejo and all over the country by fiber optic cable. It is time they took those gargantuan profits that are so unseemingly and invest it in Belize. Belize needs fiber optic cable trunk lines, all over the country and to every village. Local wireless communications technology will then go from the local switching apparatus to local homes. Excuses won't do. Cut those obscene profits in half and invest them in Belize, or lose your monopoly status. Invest, or leave the country! If you won't invest in Belize to the levels necessary we don't need you.

Video of yesteryear was a jumpy type transmission. Nowadays, video communications is flawless movie quality with no jumps, or breaks. This takes bandwidth. Telephone communications are now real time live photo capable.

I hope the Cabinet does something about lighting a fire under our BTL monopoly. This state of affairs will not do. Belize is falling further and further behind in capability of staying even and competitive with the rest of the world.

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