By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
The private sector has welcomed Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s recent announcement of cheaper Internet rates along with increased bandwidth but said that more can still be done to improve services.
Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) President Arturo Vasquez told The Reporter that the business community welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement and said the move was a step in the right direction for increasing the efficiency and productivity of the business community in Belize.
Vasquez added that while the move would be enthusiastically received by business-owners, more could still be done to get Belize to meet international broadband standards and increase Internet access within Belize.
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) Customer Services General Manager Dr. Dionne Miranda told The Reporter that the company has been working along with the government on ways to lower rates since 2009.
Miranda said BTL aggressively sought lower rates from international providers to ensure that they were able to provide better quality service to their customers at a better rate.
Miranda explained the changes would begin to take effect on October 1st but said that the transition would be a roll-out process, which would most likely be completed by the start of 2015.
She added that the roll-out would be done in phases and said the changes would take effect depending on a customer’s location within the country.
Miranda said BTL would be embarking on a media campaign as early as next week to inform the public about the upgrades and services.
Once complete, BTL’s lowest available Internet speed will be a 256 kilobit per second (kbps) package available for $35 a month where the same speed in 2009 cost the ccost $179 a month.
Miranda also announced that BTL would be providing a new 16 megabits per second (mbps) speed once the transition was complete. She revealed that until recently the maximum speed BTL offered was eight megabis per second