Irish telecoms too expensive, says report


21 Nov 2002

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Irish telecoms are now ranked seventh most expensive across 16 countries surveyed by the National Competitiveness Council. To make matters worse, only one other country out of 16 countries is less advanced in its development of broadband infrastructure.

The fifth Annual Competitiveness Report and Competitiveness Challenge of the National Competitiveness Council warned that such infrastructural deficits as telecoms and electricity, as well as rising wage costs and escalating prices, could fatally affect Ireland’s competitiveness.

The council warned that both the domestic Irish economy and the global economy face difficult times ahead and that the exact timing of any upturn in economic growth cannot be predicted with a strong degree of confidence. As a result policy makers here must contend with a number of key potential domestic and international threats to the economy and Irish competitiveness.

Ireland is ranked fourth highest out of 16 countries in terms of office occupation and total costs and second highest out of eight major economies for industrial electricity prices for mid-large capacity users. Ireland also has the longest transport delivery times out of eight capital cities surveyed.

In related news, reports suggest that the soon-to-be-established Commission for Communications Regulation will focus on the hasty provision of a fixed-rate internet access (FRIACO) service to Irish home and business customers of telecom firms.

By John Kennedy