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Sinn Féin TD highly critical of survey findings on roll out of broadband

21 February, 2006


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Seán Crowe TD has described the latest survey, which places Ireland near the bottom in terms of broadband penetration as "absolutely disgraceful" and a "legacy of the flawed decision to privatise Eircom".

Deputy Crowe said, "In a state which is supposed to be the most economically dynamic of the European Union it is absolutely disgraceful that we should be so far down the line when it comes to broadband penetration. The economic successes of the last decade and a half were in many instances down to our level of commitment to develop the IT sector through education. That we have failed so miserably to apply that level of commitment to the roll out of broadband shows that the eye has been taken completely off the ball. We are leaving ourselves at a distinct disadvantage and are preventing people for developing or expanding online business opportunities.

"I firmly believe the decision to privatise Eircom has had a direct bearing on the poor showing of Ireland in this survey. As a public utility Eircom's main role was to provide an efficient telecom service across the state. Today its primary function is to make bucket loads of money for its senior management and shareholders -- and if that means refusing to adequately invest in the roll out of broadband that's what they do.

"There needs to be a much more robust campaign by Comreg to force telecom companies to provide a service, which is rapidly becoming a necessity in the modern business environment." ENDS

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