Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ireland - broadband

Forum to advise on broadband upgrade
see also official press release

A new advisory group has been set up to look at how Ireland's broadband infrastructure can be improved.

The International Advisory Forum on Next Generation Broadband Networks will look at how we can get faster broadband speeds at lower costs.

Ireland's average advertised maximum internet speeds recently came third from the bottom on a league table of OECD member countries.

Ireland showed just over 3 megabits per second, compared with 92 megabits in Japan and 44 megabits in France. Only Mexico and Turkey had slower services than those available here.

The new Forum, bringing together experts in telecommunication and IT, will meet in Dublin at the end of the month to advise the Government on how best to develop next generation broadband in Ireland.

Among the issues they will consider are whether the State should fund next generation technologies, if fixed line or wireless connections offer the best options, and whether the private sector should be charged with rolling out the network.

But Senator Shane Ross described the move as 'yet another broadband talking shop', saying we already know what needs to be done. He called on Minister Eamon Ryan to support his Broadband Bill, which the Senator said would set up a national broadband network and give the Minister the power to enforce competition.

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