The Belize Telecommunications Act, 2002, No. 16 of 2002, liberalized telecommunications and made the PUC the industry regulator. In the first few months of assuming this role, the PUC implemented a licensing regime based on an open and transparent consultation process. A process of consultation with prospective players on license terms and conditions for new entrants and on price control and inter-connection set the stage for competition. License conditions and legal obligations require license holders to behave in a fair and non-discriminatory manner, to provide cost-oriented services to competitors and to refrain from abuse of a dominant position with predatory or other anti-competitive practices.
The Telecommunications Sector of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), as the sector Regulator, is required to promote reliable and affordable telecommunication services, foster increased reliance on market forces for the provision of telecommunication services, and to encourage investment and innovation within the telecommunication sector. The PUC is also charged with regulating new and convergent technologies as they arise as well as the efficient Planning, Administration, Licensing and Management of our National Frequency Spectrum. The sector is also responsible for Regulatory Framework both internationally and regionally in conjunction with recommendations laid out by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL).
The Sector continues to develop and formulate policies as it relates to the Frequency Spectrum Management, Interconnection, Infrastructure Sharing, and other related activities. It continues to improve its Monitoring & Compliance Section. However it continues to be overshadowed by various challenges within the Telecommunications Industry in Belize.
Belize is becoming one of the fast growing telecom markets in the Caribbean and has seen an increase in the teledensity as well as a sharp decline in tariffs for various services within the sector thus, contributing to the economic growth of the country. Telecommunications along with Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), has vastly accelerated the growth of the social and economic development of our country. Since telecommunications has now emerged as a key driver of our economic and social development in our ever increasing knowledge intensive society, we will continue to play a leadership role of this industry in Belize.