Internet Access in Belize

Internet Access in Belize

Internet Access in Belize is very expensive, at least compared to European or United States standards. High speed Internet Access is available, though, and you have three main options to access the Internet in Belize: DSL, Wireless or Satellite.

ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line)

ADSL (or DSL) is a technology that provides internet access over the copper lines also used by your telephone. These lines have a larger capacity than what is needed for only voice, so voice and data can be transmitted on the same line and at the same time. You must install some equipment (a DSL modem) in your home to split the signal into voice (i.e. for your telephone) and data (either a wired network or a wireless access point, or both). 
The government-run BTL (Belize Telemedia Limited) company provides expensive high speed internet access on the ADSL network with monthly service charges of BZD 100 (USD 50) to BZD 850 (USD 425) for speeds of 256kb to 4Mb. 
Expensive prices for not so high speeds in comparison to prices for internet access in Europe and the United States. Fortunately there is some competition, which may force these prices to come down. 
Check out our article on High Speed Internet Availability Belize for a list of locations where High Speed Internet from BTL is available. 

Wireless Internet

Wireless internet is also provided by BTL, and it is intended for area’s where DSL is not available. The prices appear to be the same as for their ADSL offerings. 
Smart is another provider of wireless services in Belize, including wireless internet. It is a privately held enterprise that is competing with BTL. Their mobile plans may include data transfer, but it is currently unclear how much data traffic may be generated and what speed the service is. 
Next to Smart and BTL there are five other wireless internet providers in Belize. One of the is Infinity, which is providing wireless internet in the region of Spanish Lookout to their customers.

Satellite Internet

To access the internet through a satellite, you will need to set up a satellite dish that is both a receiver and a transmitter. These dishes are slightly larger than what you would need to view satellite television. Setting up an internet satellite dish is also more complex than setting up a satellite television dish, as the alignment needs to be much more accurate. The speeds of satellite internet access vary. In Belize, you have two main choices for providers, such as Direct TV and Starband. 

Satellite Internet with Direct TV

Direct TV is a US based satellite services company, offering both Television and Internet services. 
On their website, they currently (March 2011) have an offer for Satellite Internet powered by WildBlue™. Direct TV delivers high-speed Internet (up to 1.5Mbps) powered by WildBlue™ to any home, virtually anywhere in the country. For as low as USD 49.99 a month for 12 months (up to 512 kbps) you can keep an “always–on” connection. 
So while still not cheap by European standards, it is strangely enough, cheaper than the ADSL services provided by BTL. And, it is reported that Skype will work flawlessly over this satellite link while BTL reportedly blocks this service. 

Satellite Internet with Starband

Information over the services of Starband still need to be added.