The NBS works very well…really!!!
From the desk of Pat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)
The broadband service contracted under National Broadband Scheme (NBS) is a basic, affordable, scalable product in keeping with EU State Aid clearance for the Scheme in September 2007. Under the terms of the contract which my Department has in place with Hutchison 3G Ireland Ltd (trading as “3”), the NBS mobile wireless service currently offers minimum download and upload speeds of 2.3Mbps and 1.4Mbps, respectively, subject to a maximum contention ratio of 18:1. The NBS satellite service, which is utilised in a small number of cases for technical reasons associated with the location of the premises, offers minimum download and upload speeds of 3.6Mbps and 384 kbps respectively, subject to a maximum contention ratio of 48:1.
My Department has well-established monitoring arrangements in place to ensure that the NBS delivers the minimum specified service or better to all users. Throughout the contract period, network utilisation and performance data is submitted by “3” to my Department on a monthly basis. The NBS contract guarantees service levels and imposes a service credit regime on “3”, with significant financial consequences in the event that minimum specification service levels are not met. The NBS contract also provides that where NBS customers do not receive the minimum guaranteed service, as set out in the terms and conditions of their contract, they are entitled to service rebates. My officials operate a dedicated NBS mailbox, which NBS customers, who have fully utilised 3’s established complaints process and consider that their complaint has not been resolved, can contact by email at . My Department will then liaise with “3” personnel at its Head Office in Dublin to remedy any service performance issues.
Since the Scheme began, my Department has dealt with individual complaints from a small number of NBS customers. In overall terms, the number of complaints received from public representatives in relation to the Scheme remains low.