boss lashes Government over broadband

19 Oct 2006

Businesses in Ireland are suffering from an inadequate broadband infrastructure and the ramifications of this will be felt through expensive investment and dissatisfied multinationals, the chief executive of said yesterday.

Speaking at the Empathy Marketing Conference 2006, organised by, chief executive Jim Miley criticised the Government’s approach to infrastructure investment.

Miley acknowledged that while the Government-backed Metropolitan Area Networks initiative had begun to make some impact, businesses in Ireland were suffering from an inadequate broadband infrastructure.

He outlined three core failures in Government policy that were effectively restricting growth in Irish businesses, especially those that rely on the internet. He said that the Government had been “too late, hadn’t done enough and what they had done is too expensive”.

Miley added: “The Government has spent millions of euro attracting businesses to Ireland and have failed to match this investment with the critical infrastructure that enables those businesses to succeed. The situation for consumers is even worse.”

In his presentation to the conference, Miley compared Ireland’s increase in broadband availability between the last quarter of 2004 with the same period in 2005 from an OECD broadband penetration report: Ireland ranked 19th out of 30 OECD countries with a net increase of just over 3pc. He quoted a survey conducted by earlier this year showing that less than a third of Irish homes have broadband access.

Calling on the Government to urgently speed up the rollout of broadband, Miley referred to recent proposals to review stamp duty on the purchase of homes and to use the massive €2.3bn raised each year from this duty to “create a 21st-century IT infrastructure for a 21st-century economy”.

By John Kennedy