Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government has serious questions to answer on their failure to deliver quality, high speed and affordable broadband

3 December, 2008 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has described today's report on broadband speeds by Epitiro Internet monitoring firm as only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the poor delivery of broadband across the state. He said 'It is totally unacceptable that companies are not providing the broadband speeds that they claim and are in effect ripping their customers off. To make matters worse there are also parts of the country where there is no broadband availability contrary to the claims of broadband providers."

Senator Doherty said:

"It is totally unacceptable that broadband companies are failing to provide the speeds that they claim and are in effect ripping their customers off. There are also concerns that not all those areas listed as broadband connected actually have broadband. Leitrim County Council carried out its own survey which demonstrated that there is no broadband availability in certain areas outside of towns despite being categorised as broadband connected under the National Broadband Strategy (NBS). The Survey found that 71% of people surveyed had no access to broadband. It is essential that the Department of Communications carries out independent inspections of areas which are claimed by broadband providers to be connected to broadband which have been identified as blackspots by local authorities.

"There are also huge regional variations in relation to broadband. Market led roll out of broadband has for the most part failed to penetrate many areas in the West of Ireland which has had a direct impact on job creation.

"With the current focus on roll out and penetration, the government has neglected other key aspects to broadband such as quality of service and development of other applications. As a result Ireland lags behind other European Countries both in terms of speed and cost of broadband. In a recent European Commission working paper on broadband it was estimated that only 19% of products in Ireland have speeds above 2mbit/s in comparison to 47% in Britain and 55% in France. And the fastest speed that is widely available in Ireland (6Mbit/s) costs four to five times more than considerably higher speeds in countries such as France, Germany and
Hungary." ENDS

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