Wednesday 20 September 2017

Why new fibre service would be a net gain for everyone

The cost of getting broadband in rural areas may now rise
The cost of getting broadband in rural areas may now rise
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

IS IT right or fair that urban broadband users subsidise rural ones? That's the basic question raised with Comreg's suggestion that Eircom might be able to raise the price of rural broadband services, to better reflect the high cost of providing such services outside urban areas.

City dwellers may raise an eyebrow at being asked to pay for rural dwellers' internet services, especially when they already pay far higher property taxes, house prices and an assortment of other charges.

On the other hand, broadband is surely a national strategic asset: is there not a concrete rationale for planning a system that gives a vital piece of infrastructure the furthest possible reach, even if it involves cities subsidising country areas?

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