Broadband progress recognised in new EU report – TIF
The Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) today welcomed the statement in the European Commission’s 2015 Digital Economy and Society Index.
That Ireland progressed significantly in connectivity and said this is due to major network investment by the telecoms sector.
TIF Director Torlach Denihan said: “Since 2010 industry has invested €2.5 billion in network infrastructure and similar substantial capital investment will be made over the next few years to further improve broadband service. This unprecedented investment took place while telecoms charges to the consumer fell by 10.2% by comparison with the Consumer Price Index from 2010 to 2015 and other utilities became significantly more expensive. Broadband service providers give great added value and service to their customers while facing very significant challenges associated with the Irish market.
“It is comparatively more expensive to provide broadband service in Ireland because we have among the most dispersed populations and highest proportions of rural dwellers in Europe. Some 72% of our population live in predominantly rural areas compared to an average of 26% for those countries that scored better than Ireland in the Digital Economy and Society Index. This means it is more expensive to provide broadband service here than elsewhere because more infrastructure in terms of masts, fibre and cabinets is required per customer.
“As is well documented, Ireland is a very expensive country to run a business due to high input costs such as rents and wages. Network rates payable by telecoms operators to county councils, which are in addition to the normal commercial rates, are approximately double the UK average and site rental costs for telecoms infrastructure are approximately twice the EU average. Unfortunately network rates are currently being increased by up to 50%.
“The industry is highly competitive and a combination of competition and investment means high quality service and excellent value for Irish customers.”