Time for Smart Customers in the South to Make the Switch Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

After February 28, 2015 the Belize Telemedia Limited will no longer provide Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Lines to Speednet; therefore, Smart customers in Southern Belize should start switching to the company owned by the Government and people of Belize.

Speednet has been sourcing DTN connection from BTL since July of 2014, when it ended a service agreement with its original network support provider for Stann Creek and Toledo. Around the end of September, BTL informed Speednet that it would have to cut the service “due to increased demands on its [own network]”. In a statement to the press, the company said, “BTL can no longer provide the DTN Lines to Speednet while adequately satisfying its own demands and requirements in providing quality telecommunications services.” After a 30 day grace period had passed, BTL went on to cut the service from 16 megabits to 4 megabits in early November. This caused internet, voice and SMS services to deteriorate significantly for Smart customers from Independence to Punta Gorda.  

Speednet then reached out to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for what it considers to be “hostile” behaviour on the part of BTL. The Commission informed Speednet that it cannot force BTL to provide the service; therefore, the company took its grievance to court. BTL had informed Speednet that it would cut the lines completely on November 14 but it held out on that move until the two parties could meet in Court.

The case was taken before Justice Shona Griffith on Monday, December 8. During the hearing, the companies informed the Court that they had reached an agreement. BTL’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, gave an undertaking that the company would continue the DTN service to Speednet until February 28. After that date, Smart will be on its own and it will have no case against BTL. Speednet also informed the Court that it was withdrawing its claim against the Public Utilities Commission. The Commission subsequently made a request for Speednet to cover its legal fees for the case.

Speednet has bigger issues on its hands at this time. According to the company, seven thousand plus customers rely on service in the area dependent on BTL’s DTN lines. The company has to develop its own infrastructure by March 1 or its customers will be in communications black hole. -