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Broadband Bill To Be Published

Posted on: January 22nd, 2008 18 Comments

Given the abject failure of the government to provide universal, high-speed broadband to every household and business in the county, I have decided to introduce my own Bill that will do exactly this.

The main provisions of the Bill will include:

  • Targets for the establishment of universal 5 Megabit broadband coverage by the end of 2009, and for universal 20 Megabit coverage by 2012;
  • The establishment of a National Broadband Network which will include all private and public infrastructure for the delivery of universal coverage;
  • The establishment of a National Broadband Commission to represent broadband consumers and to co-ordinate the implementation of the Network. Its members must be approved by the Joint Committee of Communications Energy and Natural Resources. It will report directly to the Minister;
  • Provisions obliging the Minister to report on the NBC’s progress to the Joint Committee on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources on a semi-annual basis;
  • Regulatory reform including increased powers for Comreg to guarantee free competition in broadband provision.

It is out of frustration that I feel compelled to introduce this Bill. The government and the rest of the Luddites in Leinster House have failed to recognise the importance of broadband for Ireland’s future prospects. Their smug complacency will cost us, especially in the current economic climate.

I will publish the Bill in full on the resumption of the Seanad next week. I would be delighted to hear your views on it. If you have any suggestions for amendments, or indeed you would like to tell me your own broadband experience, I would really appreciate it if you contacted me at (Enable Javascript to see the email address)