Shane Ross


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    Archive for the ‘Broadband’ Category

    Broadband Still Being Neglected

    In the Senate on Wednesday night, it looked like the government might be finally ready to sit up and listen to what I have been saying about broadband for the last number of years. This hope was unfortunately immediately dashed when it became clear that the motion was little more than a token gesture.

    I again highlighted the issue of the wholly inadequate broadband service in Ireland and pushed the government to ensure that any communications policy drives the Irish economy and breaks the digital divide. Lack of broadband seriously threatens our economic progress.

    My Broadband Bill was debated in the Senate in October and voted down by a mere 5 votes (27-22). In it, I provided a road map for the government but they are still refusing to take substantial action; slowing to a crawl-much like many homes’ internet connection.

    Bring Broadband Off Backburner

    Broadband is still being neglected as an issue by the present Government. Our economic progress will bethreatened even more if we do not invest in solid infrastrusture. Public spending has been grossly mis-directed in the past, broadband would be of national benefit. As our country slips even further into a deep recession, the present government shows no long-term vision for the future. Although Minister Eamon Ryan and his Fianna Fáil colleagues voted my Bill down I believe it is relevant and realistic. It could be a no-nonsense road map for the government.

    Please click here to read the main points of the Bill or here to read my Broadband Bill in its entirety.

    My Broadband Bill

    On October 22nd I will be bringing forward my Broadband Bill during Private Members Time in the Seanad. I published my bill a year ago and still the Government has failed to provide universal, high-speed broadband to every household and business in Ireland. I am committed to pushing my bill through the Houses and I would like to enlist your support once more. (more…)

    Broadband Better Value Than Fás

    I have a view on the economy and the political battle that goes on, that nothing is as good or as bad as both sides are saying and not all of it is particularly relevant. I spoke to Minister Lenihan about this in the Senate because of its immedaite and persistent importance. I am a long time on record as stating that the stewardship of Mr. McCreevy, while it may have been an easy time, was superb in that he was prepared to take the economy in a new direction, which might have been at a political cost to himself – it may be why he is where he is now – but which was radical and introduced a new philosophy into the running of the economy which has worked extremely well.


    Broadband and the Banks

    I again raised the issue of broadband in the Seanad today. A leaked document appeared in the Irish Times yesterday (June 24th) regarding the government’s “Next Generation” broadband strategy which is to be published on July 3rd. I told the Seanad that, while being a highly aspirational document, this was essentially all that it was- empty words when we need immediate action.

    At the same time, I also highlighted the deplorable situation regarding the damage that banks have done to the Irish economy. It ought to be realised, if it has not already been, that Irish banks in particular are disgracefully run because they are run for bankers and nobody else.


    Still no broadband Eamon!


    In a week when Communications Minister, Eamon Ryan announced the establishment of a group of international experts to consider his Department’s draft policy paper on the Government’s role in facilitating the roll out of high speed networks, the Government has yet again indulged in a game of empty words. The Minister stated that 85 per cent of the population have access to broadband, and that there were 793,000 subscribers last year. From the slew of letter and emails I have received from dissatisfied people awaiting broadband in their urban areas, I highly doubt this.


    Governments Complacency on Broadband Fails Economy

    The Governments economic policies are smug and very aspirational. An extraordinary complacency has sunk into the body politic, those running the economy, the Department of Finance and others. They feel that somehow, because we were successful when times were good, our economic success will extend for another five or ten years. I do not feel this is the case. I think we are running into trouble and are refusing to recognise this.


    Watch My Appearance On Prime Time With Minister Eamon Ryan Here

    To watch my duel on Prime Time last night with Minister Eamon Ryan about the state of our broadband infrastructure, click here. Of course if you don’t have broadband you won’t be able to watch, so I hope to post a transcript of our debate shortly.

    Read My Broadband Infrastructure Bill Here

    To read the text of my Broadband Infrastructure Bill 2008 in full, click here: bi-bill-2008.pdf. For a summary of the Bill, click here: memo.doc. I will present the Bill to the Seanad this Wednesday.

    The government seems intent on setting up more talking shops, steering groups, and forums to ask questions about broadband. But we already have the answers! Minister Ryan will soon be announcing the formation of the National Advisory Forum, or NAF. This NAF idea is just another example of the failure of the government to ACT on this vital issue.


    Listen To My Interview With Eamon Dunphy Here!

    Recently,  I was interviewed by Eamon Dunphy on his Saturday morning radio show. Listen here to find out about how I entered politics, my meetings with the late Joe Dolan in a Carrickmines shop, the turmoil in the world markets, my views on broadband, and what music I chose!