Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Question 273: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the reason a person (details supplied) is being charged for a telephone connection for broadband; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47052/10]
The provision of electronic communications networks and services is undertaken by telecommunications service providers who operate in a fully liberalised market. The regulation of telecommunications service providers, including regulatory issues surrounding fixed line and broadband services is the responsibility of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), in accordance with its functions under the Communications Regulation Act 2002, as amended, and the EU Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications.
In accordance with Regulation 3(4) of the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Universal Service and User's Rights) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 308 of 2003), ComReg may specify requirements to be complied with by the designated Universal Service Provider (eircom) in relation to the reasonableness of requests for connection at a fixed location to the public telephone network. ComReg currently deem a threshold level of €7,000 on expenditure for connection to the public telephone network at the standard connection charge to be a reasonable and proportionate cost to be borne by the USP. Where connection cost exceeds this threshold, applicants will be offered the option of getting service by paying the excess above the €7,000 limit.
There are, however, a number of platforms for delivery of broadband. Service providers are now offering broadband by fixed wireless, mobile, satellite, cable, fibre or DSL over standard telephone cable across the country. The general area of Broadford, County Clare is covered by the National Broadband Scheme (NBS). The NBS service provider "3" is providing broadband services in all of the designated Electoral Divisions within the NBS area, including in the Broadford area. 3 may be contacted at telephone number 1800944791 regarding the National Broadband Scheme.