REPORT #260 May 2000
BTL PULLS ANOTHER FAST ONE? IN THE DEBATE OF WIRELESS VERSUS OPTIC FIBER CABLE BACKBONES AND TRUNK LINES, IT APPEARS THAT THE DEFENDERS OF WIRELESS OVER OPTIC FIBER ARE SPEAKING WITH A FORKED TONGUE


Produced by the Belize Development Trust

From the debate on the Belize Culture List, on the internet. To subscribe send a message to the autoresponder at: bz-culture-request@psg.com and stick the word subscribe in the body of the message. Nothing else in the e-mail please.

The debate says that wireless is primarily for audio. It will not serve the needs of internet connections nationwide. Only telephone audio. The internet is getting ever more bandwidth hungry and to serve this, hundreds of companies are laying optic fiber cables down state highway verges, main town streets and all over the place in the USA. Commerce and all communications are primarily exploding with capability that spells, increased efficiency, labor savings, more productivity at a fraction of the cost. There are now three separate levels of internet capability. Level three is the research and defense establishments.

Wireless can serve Belize for telephone, but not for internet, it is explained by members of the culture list. Wireless is limited to 11 megabytes of bandwidth and about 300 feet diameter in area. Great for buildings in the USA, which is what is now being installed. Fiber optic on the streets and a switch to wireless, so old buildings do not have to be rewired. Wireless will not handle the demand for video and data that is the current level of communications and the forecast level of communications five years out, would place any national Belize system based on wireless obsolete before they even start installing it.

It is widely believed that BTL are protecting profits and trying to squeeze every dollar and dime out of the Belizean captiive market before their monopoly expires in two more years. This of course means another two years of economic disenfranchisement. A loss to the country. BTL policies of profit first and development NO! Have already cost the country and economy of Belize, hundreds of millions of lost dollars in economic activity over the last 15 years, it is estimated.

Submerged fiber optic cable is the only real way to lay a backbone down the whole length of the country with bandwidth capabilities. Trunk lines to villages and then wireless is the recommended technology. Saddam Hussein proved the wisdom of fiber optic communications during the Gulf War with NATO and the USA. Despite bombing, the USA aerial bombardment was unable to cut his military communications as they were fiber optic cable and the airplanes did not know where they were buried.

In Belize, at the end of Hurricane Alley buried fiber optic is also the answer for this current level of technology. Sometime we are going to have another world war also and any nucleur bomb set off in the upper atmosphere is going to knock out all satellite communications worldwide, from the electro magnetic burst which will fry the chips in the satellites. Looking longer than two years of squeezed profits ahead by BTL, it is our amateurish considered opinion, that the Government of Belize is going to have to form a new Telecommunications Authority and start laying a backbone of fiber optic cable around the nation of Belize. We are waiting too long as it is. Falling behind more every day.

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