Internet access is widely available in Belize – but is not cheap. The telephone company has enjoyed a strangle-hold on being the only one allowed to offer Internet services. This improved in 2011 when the government took over the foreign owned Belize Telemedia Limited.
Satellite Internet, like satellite TV, requires a slightly larger dish than that used in the USA and Canada – a 2 foot dish gives excellent results. Some fanatics go larger, using a 4 or 6 foot dish to get the strongest signal that will withstand any except the heaviest thunderstorms. Setting up your satellite internet dish is not as easy as setting up your satellite TV dish. The dish alignment is critical and because a signal is not only being received, but also transmitted up to the satellite, a technician is usually required to set this up for you.
Satellite Internet Access is available from various Belize and expat installers, most of who do not advertise so as to not to invite harassment from the Public Utilities Commission. It is best to ask friends or neighbors for a contact or referral.
Satellite Internet is relatively cheap for Belize – about US $120. a month for unlimited use. The speed is about 2 Mbps up and 25 Mbps down. Hughes and Dish Networks are the preferred providers in Belize.
Belize Telemedia has also upgraded its cellular phone network to 4G LTE ahead of most countries in Central America.
Belize Internet By FIBER OPTIC
A sea change has taken over in Belize in 2018 as Belize Telemedia, now freed from foreign control, has invested in a national Fiber Optic Network.
The service has rolled out to San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize City, the City of Belmopan and Orange Walk. With other districts coming on line by mid 2018. The service plans are impressive for Belize standards:
5 Mbps only: U.S. $ 30.
10 Mbps with free mobile plan: U.S. $50.
20 Mbps with free mobile plan and free home phone service: U.S. $85.
Belize has essentially moved up to First World status in terms of Internet and Mobile services.
Higher date rates for business up to 130 Mbps are also available.
If your business or peace of mind depends on reasonably priced First World Internet access, Belize is now the place for you. Belize Telemedia’s all Fiber Optic solution is actually more efficient as it is Triple-Pay. Internet, Home Telephone, Cellular and soon Media and Movies on one line. The current GPON equipment for residential applications is by Huawei and can handle 2 Gigabits down and 1 Gigabit up.
FTTH Service In Belize
As of April 2018: Rochus Schreiber – CEO, BTL:
“I’m very happy to report that as of February Belize has the fastest mobile network in Central and Latin America. If you go to international bench marking agencies, Speedtest.net, there you can see that Belize is currently above global average in mobile download speeds and we are on position number 54 globally just 8 places behind the UK.”
In September 2017, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow revealed the current strategy for rapidly deploying Internet Broadband FTTH service to Belize:
“BTL’s fiber-to-the-home project and will connect around 90 thousand Belizean households over the next three years. It will mean a wholesale change-out of the current copper wire network and its replacement by state-of-the-art fiber optics. In turn this will permit Belize a level of broadband connectivity to rival any jurisdiction anywhere in the world. In other words, our core data infrastructure will be on a par with London, New York, Singapore and Seoul.
“To put into further perspective just how huge a deal this is, the World Bank has concluded that for every 10% increase in broadband penetration, some 1.38% growth is added to a nation’s GDP. A check with residents and businesses in San Pedro can give anyone a peek into what this brave new world is looking like. Because of BTL’s implementation of its undersea fiber optic cable technology to San Pedro, people there enjoy internet speeds of up to 130 Mbps. This is a tenfold increase over previous offerings and the fastest internet service anywhere in Belize. And since pilot rollouts for the new fiber technology have already been taking place in Los Lagos, Joseito Layout in Corozal and a part of Lords Bank, BTL has taken on new workers and this additional employment will only grow as the program intensifies