Dáil Éireann - Volume 606 - 28 September, 2005

Written Answers - Telecommunications Services.

[387] [388] [389]   565. Mr. Ferris asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the timeframe that is planned in introducing broadband for Donegal North-East. [25045/05]

  Mr. N. Dempsey: The provision of telecommunications services, including broadband, is a matter in the first instance for the private sector companies operating in a fully-liberalised market, regulated by the independent Commission for Communications Regulation, ComReg. Market forces, and the availability of suitable infrastructure and backhaul, will determine whether a company offers broadband in any area. A principal reason for the slow roll-out of broadband services generally has been the lack of investment by the private sector in the necessary infrastructure to deliver broadband to all areas.

My Department is addressing the infrastructure deficit by building metropolitan area networks, MANs, in 120 towns and cities nationwide, in association with the local authorities, using Government and European Regional Development Fund funding under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. MANs have already been completed in Gaoth Dobhair and Letterkenny, and MANs for Buncrana and Carndonagh are at the planning stage.

My Department’s website www.broadband.gov.ie gives full details of broadband availability in all areas, including digital subscriber lines, cable, fibre, satellite and fixed wireless. The website also lists prices of the various service levels on offer and contact details for each service provider.