Friday, February 24, 2012

BELIZE BTL BASIC INTERNET IS NOT ENOUGH!

Joseph Chiang of Belize.
SOCIAL MEDIA ( FACEBOOK ) discuss how BTL is still not serving the local economy for growth of GDP. There is no enabling environment?

Joseph Chiang 6:37am Feb 24
Mbps with a small b is bits, MB with big B is byte...8 bits = 1 byte.
They already have 1 mbps or higher, it's just very expensive. IF the BTL offer that at $30 it means I can save some money or probably go for higher speed, it also means 1mbps internet is affordable to more people.

In Chetumal, across the Northern border, they have basic internet with 4 mbps.
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PUP ELECTION MANIFESTO PROMISES LIARD?

Wendy Auxillou 6:39am Feb 24
So, when the PUP is referring to 1 meg for $30 they are selling 1 mega...bits or bytes of speed for $30?


of course it's bits..when talking about...
Joseph Chiang 6:43am Feb 24
of course it's bits..when talking about internet speed, it's always Mbps with small b~ in other words, they are not offering much, sadly
Comment History
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That speed is still relatively slow...
Judy McCutcheon 7:19am Feb 24
That speed is still relatively slow Glenn Tillett and Wendy Auxillou.....if we are to attract investors of any worth we need to offer more. This is a vastly different world, and it's all based on technology, we need to get with the program....just saying....
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You said a mouthful. JAGUAR CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, Hillview, Cayo. BTL internet in the TWIN TOWNS is either too slow, or practices coitus interuptus. Keep losing my data feeds.
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OUTRAGEOUS GOUGING!

Wendy Auxillou 7:48am Feb 24
So I went to the btl site and this is what they have posted at their site here (http://www.belizetelemedia.net/residential-services2.php): "128K - $49
256K - $100
512K - $179
1MB - $300
2MB - $500
4MB - $850
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Wendy Auxillou 6:25am Feb 24
At 1.02 Mbps our speeds rank #161 in the world. We are just below Uganda and just above Zambia. (http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/)
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I love UGANDA :)
Valentino Shal 6:26am Feb 24
I love UGANDA :)
Valentino Shal of Toledo District, Belize.
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Val Valentino Shal, I posted...
Wendy Auxillou 6:12am Feb 24
Val Valentino Shal, I posted the graph above showing the internet speeds of the top 20 countries in the world and Japan is leading with a whopping 67 MBPS (67 mega bytes per second) internet speed at a cost of only US $0.27 per mb month. Second in line is South Korea with a whopping 46 mbps at a cost of only US$0.45 per mb per month. If we want to compete globally, those are the speeds we need to meet. Maybe VoIP blocking per se is not the problem ... it's the whole culture of our government keeping us backward...
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For comparison sake, let's look at our...
Wendy Auxillou 8:08am Feb 24
For comparison sake, let's look at our neighbor to the North, Chetumal. Chetumal is offering cable internet at a minimum speed of 1 Mbps, the same speed that btl is charging $300 BZ or US$150 a month for, for only $12 US a month ($24 BZ). In other words, what costs BZ$24 in Chetumal is BZ$300 in Belize. U N B E L I E V A B L E ! Talk about highway robbery! OMG! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_Mexico)
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Some TECHNICAL STUFF ON THE DEBATE.

There are a few things that I would like to...
Hector D Silva 11:45am Feb 24
There are a few things that I would like to address and possibly clear up in this thread from a technical standpoint so let me start off with the few that I have seen.

ADSL has distance limitations due to attenuation (signal loss) depending on the age, type and gauge (thickness) of the copper in the wire and the age of the loop (system, infrastructure).

Mr. Ray Auxillou, if you were too far away from the DSLAM then you may not have been able to get a certain level of guaranteed speed due to weak signal at your location and thus they would not offer that service to you.

ADSL means Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line so the upload speeds will often be half of the download speeds and that's what it means by Asymmetric (without symmetry, or equal) because most general consumers download more than the upload, ADSL is what you normally have available.

Those wireless systems that they use in place of DSL are counted by BTL as "residential lines" I believe.

Speed is generally measured and referred to when it comes to Internet services in MegaBITS per second not MegaBYTES per second.

"The PUP will open up the information super highway and allow the use of VOIP to spur innovation and development in I.C.T. BTL will offer high speed internet 1meg for $30 per month. Call Centres will be supportive with training and infrastructure facilitation."
Given that quote, I will take the mentioned price and speed addressed by the PUP as Mbps since what people refer to as "1 meg" currently is 1Mbps . I think the $30 price point is certainly more hype than reality. Not even in Barbados it is that cheap. In Barbados, its' about $60-65 dollars per month for 1Mbps and they have a larger subscriber base.

Now to VoIP

Call Centers already have access to VoIP, how else would they be conducting business in Belize? It' s just the general consumer that doesn't have easy access to VoIP. (more on this later)

Introducing VoIP to Belize after a quite substantial period of it being blocked can not be compared to a country that has never had it blocked. You have to compare it to somewhere that has had a similar history.

VoIP is available in several forms: in programs/service such as Skype, Yahoo Messenger and phone replacement/compliment services such as Vonage and Magicjack.

Given the very small subscriber base and the amount of people that would be able to use a service like Magicjack, instead of someone calling your Belize Number, you would just get a call on the person's Magicjack number and then BTL won't get any revenue from it except for your Internet charges, which are flat. This would be for both oversees and local. If Mary has Magicjack in Corozal and Jim has Magicjack in Cayo, and you are at home, why would Mary pick up her BTL landline and call Jim when she has a Magicjack line that she has that she knows Jim has as well and she could have an unmetered conversation. And if under the PUP's plan of reducing rates to $30 for 1Mbps, that would be a STEEP reduction in revenue while BTL would have about the same costs, making it less profitable in the short term, quickly.

There are two reasons why countries normally block VoIP: the ISP is the same as the telephony provider and has control of the market and wants to keep that control of the telephony market or secondly because of privacy restrictions, UAE, China, etc. In order to have both cheap Internet and VoIP you have to have new people with speeding power to be able to become new subscribers. If most people that already need Internet access have it right now, then the revenue from Internet will tank if the price is lowered quickly and the speed is increased sharply, thus you NEED new people quickly in order to not take a hit. A balance in price and speed is surely available. I always believe that a compromise is possible.

One can open up VoIP in limited ways so as to adapt to a new reality instead of going cold turkey and shocking the ecosystem. One example would be unblocking Skype, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, etc... all instant messengers and those that are typically computer to computer communication and not unblock things like Magicjack and Vonage just yet. Currently a person that really wants to use VoIP can do so but you just don't have easy access to it.

So to end this: This message is not an excuse or apologetic missive for any person, any party whatsoever, it's merely my understanding of the technicalities and how 'cold turkey' can adversely affect the market and cause some level of 'shock' to the system. I would surely want $30 Internet at 1Mbps and perhaps 4 Mbps at $100... anybody would want that given what the current prices are. Bottom line for me is that VoIP can be introduced but it has to be well thought out and not just done willy nilly.

1 comment:

Mr. Roarke said...

I love Belize - and I mean I have fallen in love with it - warts and all, but this is just another symptom of what is holding BZ back. We have wanted to move our business there, but without decent, reliable broadband, it is impossible.