VOIP now a reality for Belize
The legalization of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has made the rounds from fiery debate topic to political promise at election time. VOIP allows internet users to access web-based phone services like SKYPE and Vonage to make international calls at little or no cost. It’s no wonder why telecommunications provider Belize Telemedia Limited has avoided VOIP free for all which would offer competitive rates for international calls. But VOIP will be here before the end of the week. That announcement was made by P.M. Barrow at his quarterly press conference today.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“At the end of this month, which I believe is tomorrow, B.T.L. will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. This will mean the use of B.T.L.’s high speed internet service including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet and will mean that there will be no restriction whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. B.T.L. says this will immediately allow over two hundred thousand Belizeans currently with B.T.L.’s residential internet and with internet on Digicell Mobile Services, to gain immediate access to the many other VOIP based applications and services that are not currently available. Of course this ability to now freely access VOIP will further harness the power of the internet and allow Belizeans to enhance many facets of their lives; particular in areas of long distance learning with video conferencing capabilities, computer to computer conversations with families and friends abroad and even internet based television. Now this of course will affect B.T.L.’s revenues from its voice traffic tremendously. We thinking that of seven million dollars are being lost in the first year. But government needed to keep its commitment and in any event, technology is moving so quickly that I think we would have been playing a losing game if we had continued trying to restrict VOIP.”
The Prime Minister projected a loss of revenue in the sum of seven million dollars to be experience by Telemedia because of opening access to VOIP.