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Broadband roll-out failure - Crowe

18 September, 2006

Speaking this morning Sinn Féin Communications spokesperson Seán Crowe TD once again laid blame at the government's door in light of criticism from the European Competitive Telecommunications Association of the poor roll-out of broadband internet in Ireland.

The Dublin South West TD said, "Ireland continues to lag behind EU states when it comes to broadband provision. We have the second lowest broadband take-up in the EU 15 with a mere 8% of our population having broadband compared to almost four times that amount in Denmark."

Deputy Crowe alluded to the ever-increasing gap between the best and worst performing broadband companies. He said, "Ireland is being left behind with our poor roll-out of broadband. This has been the result of failed government telecommunications policies and stems from the disaster of privatising Telecom Éireann some seven years ago. Eircom has had numerous owners over the last few years, all intent on solely making profits with no interest shown in addressing Ireland's broadband needs.

"This government have shown no joined up thinking regarding improving the broadband situation. While they have belatedly attempted to address this problem by focusing on creating metropolitan area networks (MANs) they have failed to get Eircom on board to plug their fibre into these networks. The shambolic legacy of the Eircom privatisation debacle lives on. While our broadband roll-out remains low, whole regions, especial in rural areas, without adequate broadband provision are being deprived of new investment and job creation." Críoch

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