Better broadband deal for consumers demanded

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Broadband
Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has expressed concern that consumers are not getting good value from broadband services.

Offaly Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has expressed concern that consumers are not getting good value from broadband services.

A new study has found that broadband services in Ireland can be up to three times more expensive than other European countries. The research also revealed that broadband prices can vary by up to 400% depending on where you live.

Deputy Cowen said: “It’s clear from the latest research from the European Commission that people are being penalised by broadband providers because of where they live. It’s unacceptable that Irish consumers are already paying more for these services than most other European countries, an issue which is compounded by poor speeds and coverage in many areas. This amounts to a double insult for consumers. Despite providers promising high speed services, the reality is the majority of people only get three-quarters of the speed they sign up for.”

“The EU is planning on bringing in new laws to protect consumers and ensure they are getting the service they’re paying for. However, this is cold comfort for the thousands of households in Ireland, including many in Ireland, which are unable to get access to a reliable broadband service. The latest study has found that around 40% of consumers reported problems with slow speeds and downloading capacity.

“The Government’s rural broadband scheme leaves a lot to be desired, with only 25% of targeted homes connected to a service. Fianna Fáil laid the foundations of the current network between 1999 and 2011, spending almost half a billion euro on the provision of broadband services. This administration needs to build on that investment to secure a high speed service right across the country. The Government has promised to roll-out fibre optic cables to all parts of Ireland, that commitment must be fulfilled. Domestic and business customers are relying on it.”