IrelandOffline to come back online

2 Jan 2009

A looming broadband crisis in the provision of broadband in this country has prompted the return of lobby group Ireland Offline.

The group, known for its energetic lobbying, wound down activities in May 2007 at a time when its chairman Damien Mulley felt awareness of broadband issues was sufficiently high.

IrelandOffline first emerged in 2001 following a Sunday afternoon get-together of concerned internet users after IrelandOnline (IOL) cut off 2,000 customers who had the temerity to interpret IOL’s ‘no limits’ dial-up product as being an unlimited and unmetered internet access product.

In the intervening years the organisation’s campaign for better priced, unmetered internet access evolved into campaigning for affordable broadband access to homes and businesses around Ireland and broader national telecoms infrastructure issues.

However, concerns over the implementation of the National Broadband Scheme to address broadband coverage in rural areas as well as a broader belief there is a lack of meaningful development in broadband availability has led to the return of the group.

“We believe there is a looming crisis in the provision of broadband in this country and we also aim to address this issue, complacency is not an option,” said Eamon Wallace who is the driving force behind IrelandOffline’s return.

“Drawing on the experience of previous committee members and chairmen, IrelandOffline aims to be a neutral body campaigning for the provision of timely and accurate information in the field of telecommunications”, explained Wallace.

Wallace said that the group will hold formal elections in the coming months.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years