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IrelandOffline is a voluntary organisation campaigning for universal high-speed broadband for all

Results of an AIE request

Today IrelandOffline are publishing the results of an AIE request for records associated with the Department’s approval of the Eircom 300K network announced on 7th April 2017. But first a bit of context. The so-called 300K network was first proposed by Eircom on June 4th 2015. Subsequently technical and financial criteria were established by which to judge the credibility of ‘planned investments’ such as this one. Minister Alex White dismissed Eircom’s plan in December of that year. The same 300k premises scheme was reactivated in 2016, it seems that those same narrow tests were reapplied. It could have been expected...

MANS: The world’s longest running mid-term review

MANS: The world’s longest running mid-term review In May IrelandOffline sought two reports (including RFTs and project briefs) from the Department concerning the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANS). These are middle-mile fibre investments made by the State in 2005 and 2009 to provide connectivity for ISPs in 22 towns in Phase I, and 94 towns in Phase II. Enasc teoranta or ‘enet’ won the concession for both phases, respectively in 2004 and 2009, each to run for 15 years. Timeline The ‘mid-term’ review started sometime in 2015. Towards the end of that year the Department started to interview enet’s customers to...

The National Broadband Plan (again)

The National Broadband Plan (again)   Our thoughts on the plan in one simple meme… What’s going on… Why have all the major infrastructure providers walked away? Why has the plan become so convoluted that now no infrastructure provider wants to implement it? Why the secrecy? Billions in subsidies “On top of that there will be “a couple of billion in subsidies” from the Irish government and perhaps from the European Commission”(1) Where would an “investor” get an idea like that if not from government appointed consultants. Nothing has been built in over a year since the joint venture was...

Stop feeding the beast

Stop feeding the beast On Tuesday last the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications played host to a delegation from the Association of Alternative Telecommunications Operators (ALTO) a trade association of ten telco operators all of whom are not Eir. The presentation followed a well ordered scheme with the Vodafone representative talking about investment ‘risk’, the Sky guy about regulation and BT’s man explaining the games that can be played with, for example, address matching. The problem This is essentially the same problem as 10 years ago as outlined by this contribution: “Wholesale connection charges in the Irish market are more...

The Department’s ongoing struggle with transparency.

The Department’s ongoing struggle with transparency Back in February in advance of a meeting between Department officials and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, we sent the committee a list of questions which we thought might help to reveal the logic behind some of the decisions Minister Denis Naughten had made over the last two years. In all we asked 47 questions concerning, the agreement with Eircom Ltd. on the ‘300K Network’, the extension of the enet concessions (and their timing), the protracted market and operational reviews of the Metropolitan Area Networks . The Committee forwarded the questions to Department...