Television & Internet In Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize.
In today’s age of long distance relationships, remote desktops and on-demand entertainment, we find ourselves increasingly reliant on the digital web that connects us. An important consideration to anyone moving to Belize is: “How good is the internet connection?”. Belize is widely considered a developing country, so what quality can one expect from the thread that connects our region to rest of the world?
Until recent years, here in Maya Beach, Placencia, the only connection available was a satellite dish pointed at SatMex 5 with service under the pretence that we were somewhere in the US. It would take a mere grey cloud to wipe out communications. So yeah, indeed we are a developing country. Old systems have since been replaced by all the perks of North America. Cell service has leap-frogged land lines and package deals for low latency, high speed internet and cable television are now commonplace. Even on-demand internet based video services such as Netflix are becoming available.
I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon, particularly here on the Placencia Peninsula; Social media such as Facebook is for many, replacing standard avenues of communication and in some cases, supplanting websites as a means of maintaining a web presence. It is often more reliable to visit Facebook to find a phone number than to consult the official Belize phone book.
Our main options here in Maya Beach are BTL (Belize Telemedia Limited) and Southern Cable. BTL as the name suggests, provides telephone and DSL (high speed internet over phone line) service whereas Southern Cable obviously provides cable television and internet. Both feature very healthy connections that support VOIP (voice over IP) telephony and video chat among other bandwidth heavy activities. My speed test as of this morning is 7mbit down and 6mbit up. Please note that the upload speed is comparatively high (more than I had in the US) and is what I would consider of greater importance than down speed, where multi-megabit capability has been a commodity for years.
Television as well has in some ways exceeded what’s available in the “First World”. All the best stations are included at a flat rate in standard and high definition and in many languages.
So where does that leave us? On par with North American standards? Not necessarily, but during everyday use one probably wouldn’t be able to notice a difference.
Maya Beach, Placencia,
Stann Creek, Belize.