Appalling state of broadband in Ireland

Forfás* released a damning report on the state of broadband in Ireland on 30th November 2006. Remember, Forfás is an Irish governmental agency operating under the auspices of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The report is 34 pages in PDF format. Let me summarise some of the main findings for you:

The report found that:

In 2005, the European Commission estimated that DSL coverage in Ireland based on population stood at 72%, making it the second lowest of the EU-15 countries. Rural DSL availability was just 38% of the population

In this graph you can see the poor uptake of broadband in Ireland – Ireland (in green near the bottom) ranks 21st out of 24 EU countries surveyed, slightly ahead of Slovakia and Cyprus.

Broadband penetration by household

When you look at the quality of the broadband offerings in comparison to other countries, you can see how far behind Ireland is:
Quality of Service

One of the principal reasons for this, according to the Forfás report is the unbelievably slow rate of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in Ireland as the incumbent telecom (Eircom) aided and abetted by its partner Comreg the does everything in its power to thwart any attempts to unbundle.

Check out the graph to see how far behind we are internationally in terms of LLU.
Local Loop Unbundling

Noel Dempsey has been the minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources happily overseeing Ireland’s lack of broadband and all that this means for our competitiveness internationally.

Eircom’s desire to stop LLU, I can understand, but you have to wonder what are the motivations of Comreg and Noel Dempsey for perpetuating this state of affairs. They are supposed to be working in the interests of the Irish people. I can only guess what promises have been made to whom.

*Forfás is:

Ireland’s national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation

4 thoughts on “Appalling state of broadband in Ireland”

  1. Tom,

    I’m glad you presented the critical data. In the report itself, the data is clouded by language that suggests, “…not doing too bad..”
    Forfas have missed an opportunity to influence a dire situation by not speaking out openly about the real state of broadband and calling for urgent action.

  2. Forfás’ last major report several years ago didn’t pull any punches, and Gov.ie didn’t take a blind bit of notice of it. I doubt any “clouding” will have any bearing, although of course it’s worth drawing attention to it.

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