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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 168
BZ4me Offline OP
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Sep 27, 2012
Belize's regionally high internet price
(I couldn't get the picture to download sorry confused)
Belize is one of the least competitive economies; that was confirmed today by the Minister with responsibility for Technology, Joy Grant, at the launch of the national energy policy. As to technology, the percentage of Belizeans with access to internet Belize is at the bottom of the list, compared to other countries in the region. In fact, Belize is only better off than Haiti.

Senator Joy Grant, Minister, Ministry of ESCT&PU
"The Global Competitiveness Index report of 2012 ranks Belize as one of the least competitive economies in the world. We are ranked one hundred and twenty-three out of one hundred and forty-two countries. In the region, only Haiti has a lower rank. On further analysis, we note that on technological readiness indices, Belize is ranked one hundred and one for internet users per every hundred people in the population and ranks one hundred and thirty-two of one hundred and forty-two countries for the foreign direct investment and technology transfer. With regard to communication and information technology in the region, Barbados has a seventy percent ICT penetration for internet. Costa Rica, which is closer to Belize in size and topography, has thirty percent penetration. Belize has ten percent penetration; Belize City being the highest and Punta Gorda being the lowest. We have been actively considering initiatives to provide Belizeans with internet at an affordable price. It has been documented that there is a direct correlation between internet connectivity and economic growth. A ten percent increase in connectivity, results in zero point six to one point two percent GDP growth. An increase in growth will mean more employment and more persons emerging from poverty and hopelessness. This will have an impact on our educational system, our investment strategies, and our development priority."

blush First off I'm still new at this cut and paste or linking things so I hope all of you will overlook the old way I have done this.

My questions are, with the Government talking about the internet do you feel they will move on the situation and bring change and if so, is there anything we can do to keep it in the front of the line of all that is on the agenda for the Government?

The report is available here:
"This edition of the GCR analyzes the competitiveness
of Belize for the first time. The country ranks
123rd, due to weak institutions (120th), especially in
terms of lack of security (122nd), poor infrastructure,
and an insufficient level of competition that hinders
efficient allocation of resources in the goods market.
Moreover, while the country scores well in terms of
primary education enrollment with virtually universal
schooling, the rate of people attending higher education
is very low (105th), as is the quality of the overall
educational system (126th). Policies addressing these
weaknesses will help boosting the competitive edge of
the country."
The Most Problematic Factors for Doing Business
Crime and Theft 15.3
Tax rates 12.2
Access to financing 11.5
Corruption 11.0
Inefficient government bureaucracy 9.5
Policy instability 8.3
Poor work ethic in national labor force 7.0
Inadequate supply of infrastructure 6.8
Foreign currency regulations 3.8
Inadequately educated workforce 3.8
Inflation 3.6
Government instability/coups 3.4
Tax regulations 2.3
Restrictive labor regulations 1.1
Poor public health 0.5

Last edited by C2C; 09/28/12 10:05 AM. Reason: Additional Info
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 515
Dear Honorable Minister Joy Grant:

I have in the past expressed my consternation regarding the price for and availability of high speed internet in Belize. I recently wrote to the so called 'Customer Relations Manager' of BTL. Her remarks regarding the internet are and were at complete odds with what is going to be necessary to overcome the current business malaise in Belize.

It is not only that the price for this service is ridiculously high and the service ridiculously bad but also that the people responsible seem to think that BTL is a 'milch cow' to be used to extract the most money from the residents of Belize while providing the least service. It boggles the imagination that Belize and Haiti are on the same level in this regard. There is no reason for this as everything is in place, save the willingness and perseverance of the management, to provide reasonable internet service at a reasonable price.

Belize with English as it's official language is in an ideal position to leverage those language skills, the warm personalities of it's people, and the relative low cost of internet infrastructure into an engine for growth of the economy. However, in my estimation until you rid the BTL of the lazy, slovenly, and disinterested management that is in place I fear nothing good will happen.

I am not an expert in technology but I am pretty skillful in developing strategies to harness technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness and I would be more than happy to volunteer my time and skills in any situation where there seemed to be a possibility of improving the situation that currently exists.

It hurts me so to see a country and people that I have so much admiration for trapped in a cycle of poverty and corruption simply because the people in charge choose to do so. No one can blame Lord Ashcroft or any outsider for the current operations of BTL much less their arrogant and condescending attitude. I disagree completely with nationalization but now that it is done it is scandalous that this precious resource is being squandered by people that simply don't care.

Kind Regards,

Last edited by CaptOneIron; 09/30/12 08:49 AM.

Captain One Iron
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 168
BZ4me Offline OP
OP Offline
So well written, I hope somehow this ends up on the news channels and papers so all of the Country can read. Thank you for posting this. I feel the same way.

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
Skipper, I would improve on your most cogently articulated editorially by merely adding two simple words:

It is not only that the costs for this service is ridiculously high and the service ridiculously bad but also that the people responsible seem to think that BTL is a 'milch cow' to be used to extract the most money from the residents of Belize while providing the least service.

An excellent commentary...

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 81
Could not agree more Bear! Wow!, we are ahead of Haiti!...sad! very sad. The one person who most Belizeans would like to tie up at the end of an anchor me think? He has a Sir in front of his first name which begins with M....and he is from England. Ok, that's 3 hints.....i don't think i have to explain things any further......

"I only fish on days that end in "Y" smile

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 515
Noted and changed. I actually did send this to the minister. Who thinks I will get a response.

Captain One Iron
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
I'm ever hopeful that it will kick us up to 122...

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,070
BTL and it's shareholders should be embarrassed and ashamed of those statistics.

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