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Ireland a laughing stock when it comes to broadband - Crowe

25 September, 2006

Reacting to a report by the International Telecommunications Union which found that Irish customers pay some of the highest prices for the slowest broadband in Europe, Sinn Féin Communications spokesperson Seán Crowe TD once again warned that "Ireland is fast becoming the information technology laughing stock of Europe when it comes to broadband and its provision." The report also identified that take up of broadband in the state was at an extremely low rate and Deputy Crowe accused Minister Dempsey of deliberately setting unambitious targets.

The Dublin South West TD said: "Irish broadband subscribers are failing to get value for money. They pay €30 for a basic Eircom broadband package while in the Netherlands customers pay €8 less and have a connection that is no less than 20 times faster. On average broadband was 18 times faster than that used by Irish customers for the same price. It cannot be denied that Irish broadband customers are getting a raw deal.

"We are continuing to lag behind most European countries in broadband uptake. While Minister Dempsey lauds the fact that there are now 410,000 broadband subscribers in Ireland, a 2004 report by Forfás stated that this target should have been reached two years ago. It is crystal clear that the Minister has set unambitious targets to deflect attention away from the disastrous Eircom privatisation and the ensuing technological infrastructural mess.

"With privatisation and the opening up of the telecommunications market Irish customers were promised increased competitiveness, cheaper prices and higher quality products. Instead we have ended up with high broadband costs, slow speeds and a government that is failing to maintain our competitiveness."


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