I am new to the board and this topic is a bit stale, but I wanted to add my comments since I am a new telecommuter in the Cayes. Bottom line, I am doing it, thusly it is possible to "live the dream". Enjoy it while you can!

I am a US telecommuter and have been living on Caye Caulker for 4 months. Up until two years ago, satellite was only broadband available in Caye Caulker. I am sure San Pedro had it somewhat before hand.

Now we have BTL DSL, available up to 1Mbps DOWN / 512Kbps UP. I use the 512d/256u service. The DSL and land line install was $250US after everything (install, deposit, etc) and I pay $150US per month (I had 11Mbps in NYC for $53US, ugh). Satellite is still available, but the dishes are expensive, the service plans are comparable to DSL for usage and the latency of the satellite rules out anything "real time" (think NO voice/video).

Selfishly, I'd love if someone could respond to this and talk about the cable modem service available in SP, we don't have it yet...

The DSL bandwidth (availability and stability) is pretty good, I regularly saturate the downstream for 20min-1hr and it is fairly stable. All of the backhaul from the islands is microwave (see towers all over Belize). From there BTL uses fiber optic capacity from the ARCOS caribbean undersea fiber system (nwcable{dot}com).

My Vonage line (VoIP) works great about 80% of the time, but you must not be downloading anything else significant while using it. Skype works much the same. If you MUST have a reliable phone, I would get an IP softphone with a callback feature that initiates a landline call from the US to Belize for every incoming or outgoing call. Use the all-IP phone unless it gets dicey and then pay for the US-Belize landline callback when you need it (obviously this requires a BTL landline too)

BTL supplies you with a DSL modem that has NAT standard but the catch is you do not get a publicly routed IP address, and cannot open ports for forwarding at all (BTL essentially NATs all of it's customers too). This turns out to be good for general network security, but bad for the security-minded consumer who'd like the ability to run basic TCP/IP services responsibly.

I don't have problems with blockage of common file-sharing protocols nor free VoIP services. Although I cannot open ports, there are NO baseline content/security filters in place that I have detected.

As far as the VPN comment, I use MS PPTP to connect to my office and have never had a problem -- works like a charm. It generally drops out 2-3 times a day and then starts right up, but that is tolerable for me. I have never tried a pure IPSEC or GRE type of connection.

I am not sure what the install is like in San Pedro, but it was a HUGE pain in the ass in CC. What happened to me was fairly typical, the line(s) was installled in 2 days and the modem (the cheezy POS that it is) took 3 weeks to arrive from the city. Plan on using the internet cafes if you cannot wait that long to get back to business.

Hope this helps any telecommuters looking to relocate to paradise...