IrelandOffline Response To Consultation 09/86 On Large Scale Wholesale and Retail National Circuits Above 155mbits

IrelandOffline Response To Consultation 09/86 On Large Scale Wholesale and Retail National Circuits Above 155mbits

In reponse to

(Non Confidential)


We would like to take this opportunity to thank Comreg, in advance, for allowing us to respond to this consultation. We hope that this document will allow for proper discussion and release of the relevant
details and documentation into the public domain so that a thorough examination of all the details can be undertaken.

Competition issues

We, in IrelandOffline, are of the opinion that this consultation is a window-dressing exercise and that the market is clearly not as competitive as Comreg wishes to claim.
We do not believe that the market is fully competitive, as we are being led to believe. This is a core issue that needs to be addressed and tackled urgently.

We can see why Comreg would like to claim that the Irish telecommunications landscape or indeed any aspect of the Irish market is a wholly, or largely, functional market and that no undertaking operating within it has significant market power.

Sadly we would observe that in order to do so, any analysis supporting such a position would trend towards a lack of rigour in order to achieve the desired result.

Our view is that a reasonably competitive market exists when certain conditions are satisfied and where this is the case, Comreg is correct in granting specific geographic reliefs from an SMP designation.

National Spatial Strategy

We are most concerned that Comreg have self-admittedly taken no account of the National Spatial Strategy and have not tiered their market analysis, if any, to the different requirements of different towns as outlined in that strategy.

At the most basic level, and following rather than ignoring the National Spatial Strategy:

1. There is a requirement for a hub and spoke analysis to ensure that not all traffic is needlessly back boned and routed to Dublin; and priced as 2 full national traversals in many cases.
2. There should be a demonstrably higher threshold for a declaration of competitiveness in a gateway such as Galway, Cork and Dundalk, as against a hub town such as Ennis.
3. Gateway to Gateway paths, and not via Dublin, should be examined in detail. It is essential that this be done for each set of contiguous gateways towns.

IrelandOffline Analysis

On a National Scale there are only 4 networks in Ireland. Unlike Comreg we are happy to name them:

1. eircom
2. ESB
3. BT
4. UPC

These are the only carriers with sufficient fibre either owned, or leased, by IRU to offer competitive pricing and a number of them are present some semblance of a market (other than a basic cartel) may be inferred to exist.

There are two significant national wireless networks but as they are frequently dimensioned at 155Mbits maximum as they evidently do not have the capacity to lease all of that out in a given locus and cannot be seen as having significant market power in the provision of circuits above 155Mbits.

These currently are:
1. Digiweb
2. Airspeed.

Our contention is that a competitive market exists where 3 of the named fibre carriers have:
A) Lit capacity of 1 x 2.5Gbit wavelength or higher in a town and
B) Where a MAN is functional in a town along with
C) A contiguous mast and a co-location to Tier1, or Tier2, data centre standards where route redundancy may be implemented.

In that case, Comreg should forbear where eircom conclusively demonstrate, additionally, that they have presented capacity to that co-location and have a Wholesale product available in a given town, scheduled in an annex to this document allowing a cost effective route redundancy implementation, via the co-location, to a secondary carrier. This would suffice even if that secondary carrier does not guarantee 155Mbits but a significant fraction of that bandwidth of not less than 30% of the dimension of the primary port.

Further analysis required

IrelandOffline urge Comreg to go back and do this analysis properly, on these stated grounds:

1. Comreg must comply with the National Spatial Strategy and must show such compliance.
2. Availability of Tier 1 or Tier 2 co-location has not been examined by locus.
3. Route Redundancy to that co-location has not been examined.
4. Verification of the minima of lit wavelengths in a given town has not been carried out.
5. Confirmation of completion of Wholesale Route Redundancy circuits to the co-location or openly accessible mast is required together with a Published Product Offer at the Wholesale Level.

The apparent presence of an alternative network on the alleged say-so of eircom is insufficient grounds for conducting this consultation, due to the absence of a proper and due diligence examination of the facts on the ground. Abstract desktop surveys from an office block in Abbey street is not an adequate form of regulation and especially not so in Ireland.

We do not believe that any purpose is served by not stating currently available bandwidth minima and maxima by town, e.g. 2.5Gbits, on commercial or any other grounds that we can think of.


We are disappointed that Comreg have chosen not to examine the provisioning of masts and co-locations in any of these towns. However we have examined them ourselves. Absent the Wholesale Route Redundancy to a co-location we must find most of the initial list to be partially competitive (PC), rather than competitive (C) or not competitive (NC) unless we are certain that a wireless option greater than STM1 (typically STM4) is also available. We apply the same qualifiers to the new list.

Our analysis of the initial list:
Arklow, PC
Carrick-on-Shannon, PC to C
Cork C,
Drogheda, NC to PC
Dublin, C ( in parts, mainly around the M50)
Dundalk, C
Ennis, PC
Galway, C
Letterkenny C (assuming Kelvin is lit, not right now)
Limerick, PC
Mullingar, PC to C
Shannon, PC
Sligo, PC
Waterford PC
Wexford. PC

Our analysis of the supplementary list:
Athlone PC to C
Swords PC to C
Bray NC
Clonmel NC
Naas PC
Carlow C
Portlaoise C

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