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Cable operators warn PM about applying GST on Internet

Remote Control and Smart TV

Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018. 1:20 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Cable Television Operators Association (BCTOA) have written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow urging him to reconsider government’s proposal to apply GST on data and Internet services, citing concerns over the potential negative impact on commerce and business in Belize.

In a letter dated March 22, the BCTOA warns the PM: “The application of GST on this technology would affect the most under privileged in our society, the most remote residents and businesses in our country, the young entrepreneurs needing to communicate with the international market, students research and studies, farmers in remote areas connectivity and the family communications.”

The BCTOA also urged the PM to zero-rate the home internet now provided to consumers. “The cable industry has made great strides in trying to lower the cost of Internet to our subscribers and this tax on data completely wipes out the benefits to our consumers,” the association added.

The cable providers also explained that the increase would adversely affect the country’s business development by effectively increasing the cost of communication; online banking; accessing online degrees, training and seminars; research; telecommunication and ultimately the cost of doing business, placing Belize at a disadvantage to other countries in the region.

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