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Broadband Services Charges

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charges for

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Snippet Contents:

I agree with much of what Deputy Moynihan has said. I can tell him that the figures he has mentioned are wrong. He will have to trust me on that. I will give him the accurate figures. In Ireland, the average monthly cost of residential fixed-line services is €28. The EU average is €22. The average monthly cost of fixed-line services to businesses is €22, compared to an EU average of €30. The average cost of mobile pre-pay is €17 per month in Ireland, whereas the EU average is €18 per month. The average cost of mobile post-pay is €16 here and the EU average is €17.50. I agree with what the Deputy has said about the importance of telecommunications infrastructure. The issue for us is the quality of the service, rather than any comparative cost disadvantage vis-à-vis Europe. It is not the case that there is any such disadvantage. The broadband plan that I published acknowledges that State intervention is necessary because the broadband service in some less densely populated areas is basic. There is fierce competition within the private sector in urban areas. One sees that on television all the time. The State must intervene in less densely populated parts of the country where the service is basic. We have committed some €300 million for investment in that third tier. Approximately three weeks ago, we commissioned consultants to prepare our State aid application. We have to go through the state aid process if we are to be allowed to invest taxpayers' money in bringing the system up to par. That, rather than any comparative price disadvantage vis-à-vis the bulk of the countries in Europe, is the area we are focusing on.