REPORT #365 August 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

NAP stands for the Network Access Point. Stands to common sense it should be in Belmopan, the center of the country, with fiber optic lines going outward around the nation like a spiderweb underground.

At heart of the problem is demand. People are going to be downloading movies in real time, watch internet TV and even the local hospitals performing operations with the help of specialist surgeons thousands of miles away in other countries. Fiber optic cable has changed in the last eight years. In fiber optics, data is converted into photons and travels at the speed of light, 186,000 mps. Fiber optic is lighter, faster and more efficient than the older copper wire cables. It is also unaffected by electromagnetic disturbances and less subject to signal degradation. The older fiber optic systems of a few years ago did not even come close to exploiting the theoretical capacity of the system. These must now be replaced. The fiber optic highways in Belize of the past were designed to go 90 mph but could only travel around 30 mph. The reason, it was only one lane travel. Things could get congested. Nowadays with newer light technologies, you can increase the one lane carrying capacity to 160 lanes. You have amplifier chips that will boost weak signals over a thousandfold.

The idea of locating a NAP in a central location is to make it easier for different districts in Belize to communicate through ISP's ( Internet Service Providers in each district ). These in turn will start hosting servers and other internet related businesses, including Web Hosting Companies, particularly those that need a TAX HAVEN jurisdiction. A NAP is sort of a internet exchange. NAP's are the fulcrum of the internet. No country can expect to be a serious player in world business unless it has it's own internal country wide serving NAP. The issue is location and convenience which translates into cost for ISP's and customers. A central NAP in Belize must be neutral to competitive small scale ISP's and local independent telephone exchanges. Some of which in remoter areas of which will have to be subsidized to give equal service anywhere in Belize. An economic super efficient fiber optic ring around the country, or spiderweb will bring Belize into this century. At heart is adequate bandwidth for the future technical developments, like quantum computers, holographic schooling and virtual education.

Back to Main Belize Development Trust Page

Maintained by Ray Auxillou, Silvia Pinzon, MLS, and Marty Casado. Please email with suggestions or additions for this Electronic Library of Belize.