Minister for Communications, the Marine and Natural Resources, Dermot Ahern TD has said that he expects flat-rate internet access (FRIACO) to be available to the retail customer by 25 June.
He said: “The initial monthly reports on the progress of delivery show that we are on target to meet the due date. I want that progress to be maintained in order that the consumer reaps the benefits at the end of the day.”
At a Council of European Telecommunications Ministers in Brussells Minister Ahern said he fully supported the council’s direct approach to the development of broadband infrastructure across Europe.
On foot of today’s meeting each member state will have to produce a comprehensive national broadband strategy by the end of this year. The European Commission will then review each strategy with a view to highlighting best practice with regard to broadband development.
The Minister added: “As with any progressive development, the sharing of information and strategies, as well as sharing systems of good practice, should be of mutual benefit to all members of the EU. We can share our knowledge with our partners and learn from their experiences at the same time.”
Ahern also said that it was his intention that the regulatory framework would be transposed into Irish law by July 2003. He said: “I am confident that the legal certainty provided for by this framework will help create the conditions for long-term investment.”
By Suzanne Byrne