What The Ghanaians Can Teach The Irish!

What The Ghanaians Can Teach The Irish!

Eamonn Wallace Chairman of IrelandOffline wishes to remind Pat Rabbitte that under Section 13 of the Communications Regulation Act 2002(1)  it is possible for a minister to give a policy direction to Comreg. No other Minister since Dermot Ahern has given such a statutory direction. We sincerely hope that Minister Rabbitte will prove to be a different and decisive Minister? One  that looks after the interests of Irish consumers, the forgotten voice in the NewERA planning.

Information recently received by IrelandOffline suggests that eircom is finally switching all its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) customers to cellular technology leaving the spectrum clear and free for other uses and other suppliers.

According to Wallace, Pat should ring up his counterpart in Ghana for a few tips first.
eircom have been squatting on huge blocks of spectrum, for a long time now, particularly in the 3.5Ghz and 2.3Ghz bands. Much of the 2.6Ghz band that UPC was issued with is rarely used.
These blocks of spectrum could be used to provide urgently needed rural broadband options.
Spectrum squatting is grossly anti-competitive and should not be permitted when blatantly used  to block other operators from providing badly needed services.

According to an Oireachtas report from March 2006 , eircom has used its FWA licence in only 80 locations and supplies broadband using FWA to just 250 customers, whereas the spectrum could have been used to offer broadband to the whole country. The same Oireachtas report suggested eircom may have been “sitting on this licence”.(2)

Wallace added : “These key spectrum blocks should be removed from their current squatters and reallocated to other users/companies that are sorely in need of the required spectrum. All it takes is political will and principle-based clarity of thought.”

Wallace suggests that Pat pick up the phone and speak to the Hon. Haruna Iddrisu in Accra who will give him some excellent advice on how to handle spectrum squatters here in Ireland.
His Ghanaian counterpart simply directed the regulator to take spectrum back once any operator has evidently squatted it for 3 years.

“To that end the ministry has given the National Communications Authority (NCA) a policy directive to revoke any assigned frequencies that have lain dormant for the last three years and reallocate them”

“Swift, clear and eminently just. Over to you Minister” concluded Wallace.


(1) Section 13

“13.—(1) In the interests of the proper and effective regulation of the electronic communications and postal markets, the management of the radio frequency spectrum in the State and the formulation of policy applicable to such proper and effective regulation and management, the Minister may give such policy directions to the Commission as he or she considers appropriate to be followed by the Commission in the exercise of its functions. The Commission shall comply with any such direction.

(2) Page 12 of report here: http://url.ie/24y

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1 Response

  1. Ghana Radio says:

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    Thanks for fantastic info I was in search of this info for my mission.

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