Blogger and Future Retiree talks about the Problems of Technology in Belize

A contributor of Forbes, Rob Enderle, wrote an article about the technological problems he will face when he comes to retire in Belize.

Rob talks about the advantages that a country like Belize can offer him and his family. He states that Belize is the perfect spot for him to retire because of the first language being spoken here and the low cost of living. Rob might be right about those two things but how precise is his analysis?
Belize, which used to be called British Honduras, has English as a national language and has a legal system based on England just as ours is. There are differences but relatively minor ones. A lot of folks do speak Spanish but given English is the national language most folks speak it. Belize is just south of Mexico and, at least for the moment, doesn’t appear to have many issues with drug cartels or smuggling because there doesn’t seem to be much point in moving this stuff through the country since it doesn’t border the U.S. and other countries are more strategically located. It is also protected by a huge barrier reef which protects the coast from storms (it is in a hurricane zone).

Finally, Belize is a country that is focused on being “green,” so the roads are clean, pollution is low, and the government and locals appear to want to keep them that way. It costs about the same to build and power a house in Belize but other living costs are very low. Tied to the U.S. dollar the Belizean dollar is worth exactly 50 cents and everyone seems to trade with U.S. dollars, even though prices are generally in the local currency. A live in housekeeper/cook typically costs under $150 U.S. a week. Food is mostly organic and raised locally and a fraction of U.S. prices.
Something that bothers Rob is the outdated and not-so-efficient technologies that our country utilizes -- he knows that Belize is not up to par when in comes to technology and he is damn right about that. Our technology is "lame" if I can put in one word.
Here is where it is currently dicey. Belize has DSL but it isn’t always easy to get, service isn’t that reliable and data speeds are relatively slow particularly against European standards. Phone calls to the U.S. can be expensive on U.S. cellular plans (cell phones work even miles out into the ocean) but cellular data doesn’t seem to be turned on. Wi-Fi is prevalent but there is no Wi-Max or LTE currently deployed, at least not down south where we are building.

Expectations are this will improve greatly over the next two years, but with several of us wanting to work from the location using conferencing this will be a problem. However, while Skype is currently blocked, FaceTime with full video worked surprisingly well, suggesting that even though bandwidth is limited they aren’t throttling it so you are getting all you paid for.
We are at the centre of the tourism market but why hasn't our government done anything to improve and introduce newer and more affordable technologies? What is the hold-back? Wouldn't that attract more tourists here?

Brilliant people like Rob know the struggle of our country but yet he picks Belize as the #1 option for his retirement. This only leaves me to believe that the beauty and capacity of Belize, my beloved country, is unlimited and I hold my word for that.

Building And Retiring In Belize: Technology Is Still A Problem

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