Tender is welcomed.
Those in existing DSL areas but fail broadband tests will still not
Those in areas covered by wireless providers but fail broadband tests
will still not get broadband
Tender depends on eircom enabling other exchanges as promised.
* BEGINS *
IrelandOffline today welcomed the National Broadband Tender and
described the tender as very encouraging but the group still has
reservations about it.
Damien Mulley, Chairman of IrelandOffline stated "We very much commend
the Minister and his Department for bringing out this tender to give
many more people broadband but we do wish it had happened a few years
ago and not three weeks before an election. There is still many years
left before the results of this are felt."
IrelandOffline pointed out positive aspects of the tender and stated
that the tender makes sure that people will be able to pay a fair
price for a fair service in areas that so far have not been able to
get broadband but they did point out some major flaws in the tender.
Mulley added "We have strong reservations about the geographic
locations that the Department selected as these areas do not cover
every location where broadband is currently unavailable. If what the
provided map shows is correct, many thousands of consumers and
businesses are still going to go without broadband."
Even in areas where a broadband provider operates, it does not mean
everyone in the area can get broadband. Many factors such as poor line
quality and split lines mean that even people within the 4.5km DSL
threshold cannot get broadband. The Department also thinks that if a
wireless operator is in your area then you can get broadband. This is
far from the case and many people will testify to failing broadband
tests due to trees, houses and hills being in the way. No provider
guarantees 100% coverage, yet the DCMNR tender seems to think this is
IrelandOffline also pointed out that this tender does not cover areas
where eircom have recently promised to roll their service out to. The
main area of contention with this from IrelandOffline's perspective is
that eircom has not said when they are going to roll out to their
areas and a promise of "real soon now" is not comforting to the 25% of
the country still trying to get broadband..
Mulley also said " While many will now be able to get broadband, many
thousands more are still being overlooked by this broadband tender. We
are quite concerned that all the fanfare about this before the
election will turn into disappointment for businesses and consumers
when the sobering facts come to light about the tender."
* ENDS *
Damien Mulley can be contacted on 086 825 8586