Features — 20 August 2016 — by Bernard Bulwer

I consider this issue of Internet Speeds and Pricing critical for Belize’s development in the educational, business, and global health arenas, among others. Therefore, to me, it is a national issue for which Belizeans must insist on solutions to these bottlenecks.

This is not a zero sum game. Utility companies often fail to realize that people use (and pay) more when they get more value for money.

According to my reading of this article, Belize pays 10 times as much as Barbados for the same internet speeds (For 15MB Barbados pays $32.50, while Belize pays US$350.44 for 16MB).

Additionally, the highest Internet speed available to Belizeans is 16 MB while Barbados enjoys 1G (1000MB)—or almost 70 times faster download speeds. For this (1000MB) download speed Barbados pays US$297.50, which is less than the US$350.44 that Belize pays for speeds almost 70 times slower.

Practically speaking, I have a number of issues in mind that led to this posting:

1. I negotiated with Harvard Medical School and they agreed to provide continuing medical education (CME) for Belizean MDs countrywide—a potential gamechanger for CME and medical standards in Belize. This includes webcasts and videos that require faster download speeds and streaming.

2. I am also working on another project where Belizean MDs and other healthcare workers will one day use smartphone ultrasound devices and instantly “text” videos and images nationwide and internationally—plus get feedback-instructions in real-time. In so doing, high tech medical imaging can reach Belizeans country-wide (wherever you can use a cellphone), and connect them to MDs and hospitals nationwide and internationally. For this you need faster (and cheaper) Internet speeds.

3. Outside of healthcare, through online education and international exchanges—which requires faster and cheaper bandwidth—can greatly enhance Belizean education at all levels.

4. The list is long, but businesses and e-commerce would surely benefit greatly

My hope is that, if we are serious in developing our country, that we must FIND A WAY to solve this. The price we’ll pay for doing nothing is more than many realize.

See online reference story HERE.

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