[Release] ComReg stats show financial gloom for telecoms consumers.

Ireland Offline Info at Irelandoffline.org
Wed Sep 21 00:32:59 IST 2005


** Summary of press release: **
Ireland 2nd worst for Broadband in the EU.
Ireland most expensive for mobile costs.
Ireland has most expensive line rental in the EU.
Ireland above the EU average for average landline bills.

** full press release begins **

ComReg stats show financial gloom for telecoms consumers.

Consumer lobby group IrelandOffline today expressed dismay at figures
[1] released by Telecoms Regulator ComReg, which show a stagnant
market for broadband and a telecoms market with significantly
above-average charges in many areas compared to other EU countries.

Commenting on these latest figures, IrelandOffline spokesperson
Jonathan Ó Rinn stated "ComReg once again failed to include any
representative figures and opted instead to provide almost meaningless
sample statistics."

Ó Rinn added "The ComReg report failed to communicate to the Consumer
that Ireland has the highest mobile expenditure in the EU [2], the
highest line rental [3] and that the average landline bill is
considerably above the EU average [4]."

The ComReg figures also showed that for the second quarter running, 
broadband uptake was devastatingly low and Ireland was once again 2nd
last in the EU for broadband penetration. [5] Disturbingly, the rate
of growth in broadband subscriptions has also begun to slow
significantly. Instead of being on the road to recovery, Ireland is
paradoxically falling further behind our competitors who are
increasing their broadband subscriptions and penetration rates at a
significant pace.

Commenting on the broadband figures IrelandOffline's Gary Devitt
stated. "It is clear that the Government's target for Broadband
penetration will not be met [6] without rapid and meaningful
intervention. Until this occurs the promotion of Ireland as a
knowledge-based economy will suffer."

 "We would question whether ComReg is serious about their consumer
charter" stated Ó Rinn "and whether Minister Dempsey is content with a
market, that while apparently liberalised, is not at all competitive
judging by ComReg's figures. Telecommunications are essential for
consumers and  business, yet a monopoly in all but name is being
allowed to stymie growth and innovation to the detriment of both the
consumer and Ireland Inc. on the world stage."



** NOTES **
[1] http://www.comreg.ie/_fileupload/publications/ComReg0573.pdf

[2] Mobile monthly ARPU is €€48. The EU average is €€31. A staggering
€€17 per month higher for Irish Consumers.

[3] In a previous report ComReg highlighted that Ireland had the
highest line rental in the EU. They omitted this crucial data in
today's report. You can read about the previous report here:
http://www.comreg.ie/_fileupload/publications/ComReg0543.pdf
(Line rental details on page 15.)

[4] The price comparison ComReg used in today's report was on National
calls only and did not take into account calls to mobiles, local calls
and line rental. These comparisons known as a "composite basket" were
compared in a report last year by the EU. We do not expect call costs
to have decreased since then. In the report we were 4th most expensive
in the EU. The report can be viewed
here:http://europa.eu.int/information_society/topics/ecomm/doc/all_about/implementation_enforcement/annualreports/10threport/sec20041535VOL2en.pdf

[5] http://www.oecd.org/document/60/0,2340,en_2825_495656_2496764_1_1_1_1,00.html
OECD Report for Dec 2004.

[6] There are now 173,900 broadband connections in Ireland which means
 an average uptake of 80,000 connections a year. It will take another
5 and a half years to reach Noel Dempsey's lacklustre figure of
600,000 connections which he wanted by 2007.


**ends**


MEDIA CONTACTS
--------------
Damien Mulley chairman at irelandoffline.org
John Timmons info at irelandoffline.org Mobile: 087 284 8079


ABOUT IRELANDOFFLINE
--------------------

IrelandOffline is a voluntary organisation consisting of home and
business Internet users unhappy with currently available Internet
connectivity products and services. Its brief is to campaign for the
development of flat-rate and high-speed Internet access services and
to  promote innovation and competition in the Irish Internet
marketplace.
 he group currently represents over 2000 Internet users.

For more information on the organisation, please visit the
IrelandOffline website at http://www.irelandoffline.org




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