The National Broadband Scheme which is designed to bring broadband to those areas where it is currently unavailable must be successfully launched, the new Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD said as he marked the entry of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) into its second decade.
“Most importantly of all ComReg must continue in their role in consumer advocacy through features such as their award winning website www.callcosts.ie
“We have recently provided ComReg with new and enhanced powers to support competition and I am confident that with these new powers the achievements of its first 10 years will be replicated if not exceeded in the future.”
Ryan said that the past 10 years have seen seismic shifts in the nature of the communications sector in Ireland.
“I don’t think that anyone could have predicted that we would move from a situation 10 years ago where the market was dominated by a single service provider to one today where there are now 35 companies offering a variety of fixed telecom services and four mobile companies offering 2G and 3G services,” said Ryan.
“Indeed, a vivid illustration of the impact this progress has had on our everyday lives is the fact that there are now more mobile phones in Ireland than there are people. We have a mobile penetration rate of 112pc.”
Ryan said that this liberalisation of the market has led to increased choice for consumers, new and innovative products and services and a 20pc reduction in telecom prices.
“Going into its second decade in existence ComReg faces significant challenges. Our broadband subscriber numbers have been growing at three times the average rate of other EU members and this pace of growth must be maintained,” Ryan urged.
By John Kennedy