By Aaron Humes: Cabinet has announced that an amendment to Statutory Instrument 110 of 2021 concerning regulations on licensing, authorization, and fees in the telecommunications industry will clarify these regulations, and improve their administration and overall service.
An amendment to the Telecommunications (Licensing Classification, Authorization and Fee Structure) Regulations, 2021, will clarify the various classifications of licenses, services to be provided under various licenses and their applicable fees, and clarify the services which can be provided under a class license.
Telecommunications, like water and electricity, is a public utility administered through the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Unlike the other two utilities whose providers are at least partly state-owned, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), similarly partly state-owned, has competition from privately-owned Speednet Communications Limited (SMART) and other entities.
Speednet has previously challenged fees for broadband access under the previous administration and won. The shoe is on the other foot as it is now accused of using its influence with the ruling party to secure various Government contracts, including the transfers of whole units and divisions of Government to its portfolio and away from Telemedia.