National News: GOB lifts block on VOIP

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

As of May 1st, the years of blockage on Voice Over Internet Protocol service, commonly referred to as VOIP, will finally end. It was a campaign promise by the Barrow Administration in 2012 and now the state run telephone company, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), has lifted the restriction on the service. The announcement was made by the Prime Minster of Belize Honorable Dean Barrow during his first quarterly meeting for 2013 which took place on Monday April 29th.

Vonage-SkypeWith the lifting of the blockage on VOIP service internet users will be able to use Skype, Net2phone and Vonage to make their long distance calls for free. According to PM Barrow allowing VOIP will put an end to a long debate from different sectors and will give over 200,000 internet users subscribed to BTL internet a free service “At the end of this month (April 30th), BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. This will mean that the use of high speed internet services including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet - that there won’t be any restrictions whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. This of course will affect BTL’s revenues from it’s voice traffic tremendously… But the government needed to keep its commitment. Technology is moving so quickly that we would have been playing a losing game if we had continued trying to restrict VOIP,” said PM Barrow.

The Prime Minister projected a loss of revenue in the sum of $7 million to be experienced by BTL in the first year because of opening access to VOIP.

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