Saturday 17 March 2018

Ireland petitions European Commission on broadband issue

Communications Minister Denis Naughten Photo: Tom Burke
Communications Minister Denis Naughten Photo: Tom Burke Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland has called for the removal of all “unjustified requirements” for broadband providers entering the market in order to spur competition within the area.

In a letter to the European Commission, Ireland joined 14 other countries in petitioning Brussels to relax the hurdles that telecom firms need to jump in order to enter the market.

“Ubiquitous access to high-speed broadband and innovative communication services is an integral part of the telecommunications review,” it reads.

“The regulatory framework should be adapted to better spur investments in high-speed broadband and promote competitive prices and innovative services by removing all unjustified requirements.”

The letter to the Commission, which was signed by Enterprise Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Communications Minister Denis Naughten, said it is vital for European competitiveness to take a positive approach to new advancements in both technology and business models. The news comes after Mr Naughten committed to making the National Broadband Plan “the most significant investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification”.

However, rural broadband remains a significant issue and has banished Ireland to the foot of the EU Digital Scoreboard. Currently a third of the country is facing inadequate broadband, placing Ireland amongst the most poorly equipped when it comes to digital skills.

Irish Independent

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