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Jul 11, 2013

Will Belize ever have internet rates as low as the region?

Joy Grant

The search for oil depends on modern technology, and that includes software, equipment, and in some cases, dependence upon the internet. A 2013 survey of Caribbean Internet Service Providers carried out in May revealed that internet in Belize is not only among the slowest in the region, but it is the most expensive. And that survey was released after B.T.L. doubled internet speeds and cut internet rates. Today we asked Minister of Public Utilities Joy Grant if there is anything the government can do to make the rates on par with the region.

 

Joy Grant, Minister of Public Utilities

“I would want to say that although the statistic show we still have work to do, it was much better than it was the year before. The prime minister said that we would be reducing the rates and we have. And what I think the company has found is that with reducing rates and making it faster; that they have gained more customers. And so that is exactly what we have said, it is very encouraging. And because that happened the last few months, I would wanna say that the board will certainly look favorably at making the changes that are necessary to make us more competitive.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Is there anything that your ministry, that the PUC can do to kinda push this?”

 

Joy Grant

“Well we are always talking to the board members and the chairman, who is a very dedicated person in this field and is quite knowledgeable. So we are talking all the time. For us to get private sector more involved, we have to look at all the costs. Today is energy, but you are right…there is also the cost from telecommunications and so that is something that we talk about all the time. Like I said, I am not on the board—I just interact with them—but I am sure that they would agree that if you can reduce the rate, do it faster and get more customers; that is a win-win for everyone.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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