Wednesday, 16 December 2015
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Rural Broadband Scheme
172. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress made since the rural broadband scheme was introduced and when 3 mobile received the contract; if the promise of 30 Mb speeds for all houses by 2018 is on track, how was the contract framed with 3 mobile to allow it to charge a premium of more than 3,000%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45513/15]
I refer the Deputy to my response to Question No. 597 of 15 December 2015.
The National Broadband Scheme (NBS) expired on 25 August 2014, in line with State aid clearance for the Scheme. Subsequent to its expiry, the specified NBS broadband service is no longer being provided by "3" in its capacity as the NBS service provider.
I have no role in relation to the provision of retail services by "3" in its commercial capacity.
The provision of electronic communications services, including the imposition of associated retail charges by service providers, occurs within a fully liberalised market. Regulation of service providers to the extent permitted by law is a statutory function of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), which is independent in the exercise of its functions.