January 13, 2003: BTL -- AGAIN! PLEASE NOTE: BTL Email is NOT working. Emails sent to or from btl.net addresses are NOT reaching the recipients. Complete Internet access failed from Friday afternoon (10 January through Saturday mid-morning 11 January). Also, telephone calls could not reach Placencia through the entire weekend, either by land-line or cell. (I understand phones were out in Belize City on Friday as well.)
Please continue to re-send all emails sent to btl.net addresses.
Following are three emails sent out this weekend and this morning, the first two to everyone in Placencia, the second to the Belize Culture list. Of course, anyone still relying on btl.net for their email access will not receive the emails anytime soon, but those of you with other email servers, please contact Brenda Vaccaro at BTL with complaints (see below for contact info).
BTL email has not been going through most of the morning.
I called BTL and they didn't know it either!
They "fixed" the server, and it worked one time. It doesn't work now.
So, for those of you still relying on BTL for Internet access, I now have a name, email address and fax number you can use to complain in writing. (Please save your written complaints, they may come in handy.)
Please make complaints to:
Kim Vaccaro, [email protected]
, fax number is 227-0965. I suggest that you fax AND email since she's on btl.net, so she probably is not getting her email.
And, for those of you who can afford it, here's the contact information for a couple in **** who have received training in the US in setting up satellite systems, and have the hardware available for sale:
(Name and email address removed for their protection.)
Cost is about $2,000 USD installed.
When you have telephone or Internet problems, please not only call BTL or the Internet office (direct phone number 227-7333), but ALSO send a fax or letter to Liston Hall (see below for contact info).
The problems we're having need to be documented because BTL is trying to maintain that the problems are isolated ones "because no one is complaining." They've told me this several times -- AND they've told other people in the area the same thing.
Last night (Friday), the Internet technician even tried to tell me that BTL was not aware of any problems with Internet access during the last 3 or 4 days!
Liston Hall's fax number is 227-2262. (Note, someone from Placencia was today given another fax number for Liston Hall, which was 227-0965, apparently the main fax number for BTL - please send to both.)
All of BTL's systems, land lines, cell systems and Internet access seem to be failing.
Sure, personal cable or satellite helps solve the email problem, but what about the phones?
Friends tried to call me in Placencia for 3 hours on Sunday and couldn’t get through.
A friend from the States tried all weekend to call and received only busy signals on BOTH my land line AND my "incredible" new Digicell. (That's a joke, by the way - the Digicell is WORSE than the analog, something I certainly wouldn't have thought possible.)
Another friend north of me in Maya Beach told me that people in Placencia could call her, but she couldn't call out of Maya Beach.
What is going on (or NOT going on) here?
Well, I've just developed a new theory that I think explains it all, and here is it --
BTL is really a radical environmental/native cultural organization that wants to stop ALL development and business in Belize so that Belize remains the pure, unpolluted place that we all know and love.
After all, what other reason makes sense for an organization that nets over $100,000,000 per year in a country with about 250,000 people, with probably less than 15% of them subscribing to phone or Internet service.
So, it has to be true, and I'm sure what BTL is really trying to do includes, but is not limited to the following:
--Preserving the reef and fish/lobster conch stocks by making everyone in Belize go back to fishing by sail boat for their own meals (if the shrimp trawlers don't get all the fish first, that is), milpa farming, and begging international aid organizations for aid to our poor, backward, non-technologically advanced backwater country
--Stopping the Challilo Dam since Belize without reliable telecommunications Belizeans would no longer need all that power because all the hotels would be empty and no one could any longer afford electrical appliances
--Preserving the Mayan, Garifuna and Creole heritages by forcing all road work to stop -- after all, without reliable telecommunications, nobody would need to go anywhere since there would be nothing to buy, and tourists wouldn't need transportation since they wouldn't know we existed anymore
--Maintaining air quality by forcing Tropic and Maya out of business -- no telecommunications, so no tourists, so nobody that would need or be able to afford to fly, no vehicles either for the same reasons
--Increasing water quality on rivers and in the Sea by forcing all motorized vehicles off the water - no telecommunications, no tourists, no money to buy fuel.
Of course, since this is Belize, we know that BTL's motives can't be purely altruistic. But, there would be benefits that BTL could monopolize (and we know how good it is at monopolization), such as:
--Monopolization of contests for Belizean kids to be on those Save the Children commercials with Sally Struthers and for small villages to be on UNICEF Christmas cards
--Monopolization of the importation, sales and distribution of canned goods, strings and drums that we would use to communicate with each other
--Monopolization of mental health care clinics to treat Belizeans suffering from BTL rage.
And we thought BTL was just incompetent, avaristic and opportunistic, when all along they are really the saviors of the true way of life in Belize.
Thank you, BTL for looking after after welfare so well!