Living With Belize Telemedia (BTL)
Belize launches Caribbean’s latest Internet Exchange Point
Belize’s first Internet exchange point, named BIXP, was successfully launched in Belize City on April 27. The new IXP should help improve Internet service in Belize by eliminating dependence on international connectivity for local Internet traffic exchange. The new facility, the twelfth IXP to be activated in the Caribbean, should lower the average per bit delivery cost and significantly reduce latency for Internet traffic between local ISP networks. As a result, users can expect a more reliable, more resilient local Internet.
Will this result in higher speeds and lower costs for the residential consumer? Currently The Bahamas (a country of approximately the same population as Belize), Jamaica and Barbados all offer their monthly subscription plans with an advertised download speed of 25 Mbs+ for about the same price BTL offers 2 Mbs! And upload bandwidth in all three jurisdictions is much better than the maximum 1 Mbs upload offered by BTL's. Of course, these three country's Internet Providers are all Privately Owned.
BTL Internet Prices effective September 1, 2016
The highest bandwidth available in Belize is still 16 Mbs Download for the still ridiculous price of US$200 / month! The Bahamas fastest internet service is 50Mbs/down 7Mbs/up for US$70! The IXP launch has been a vital first toward the development of a Belizean Internet Economy and we do appriciate the reduction in price, but the prices are still way too high and the available bandwidth is still way too low.
DNS Service Disruptions
We tested the reliability of BTL's DNS offerings now that Belize has its own IXP. The results were less than impressive, with occasional complete DNS unavailability. Consejo.Bz recommends you switch from BTL's servers to one of the many excelent public DNS servers for more reliable and quicker service.
I had been using the very reliable and fast Google DNS. Unfortunately, Google, like Facebook and Twitter, has become part of the evil empire, tracking everything you do, so I have stopped using anything Google on my home PC.
The tech adept can switch DNS servers easily. Just go to your Network Adaptor's Ipv4 Properties and change the DNS servers to one these:
|Name:||Preferred DNS||Alternate DNS|
|Comodo Secure DNS:||188.8.131.52||184.108.40.206|
You can call BTL and ask them to change the DNS settings in you DSL modem. They were doing this while the DNS problems persisted, however, I have been told that BTL will no longer make this change in the modem, so you may have to use the Ipv4 properties technique shown above if you feel you need more reliable service.
(just not soon enough!)
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The plan is to have the entire country switched over to fiber internet and phone by the end of 2019. I expect Consejo will be among the last places this service will be made available. We are 10 miles from the Corozal hub with relatively few potential customers.