The Campaign for proper Broadband Facilities for Clonroche Village................................................................The Campaign for proper Broadband Facilities for Clonroche Village

At the November 2006 monthly meeting of Clonroche Development Association Ltd and after a short discussion Mr Lorcan Dunne, Assistant Secretary & founding member of the Organisation was delegated to pursue the matter of competitively priced broadband availability for the village.

Initially a letter was drafted to Eircom, The Minister of State at the Department of Communications and the Marine and Natural Resources local representative Mr John Browne and the Minister at the Department Mr Noel Dempsey.

As the Department with responsibility for this area and with local representation at a high level it is hoped a speedy delivery of this resource will be made.

It is the intention that this page will keep the area updated in the development and progression of this matter

If you are interested in this subject please contact me through Clonroche Development Association Ltd with your comments and observations

AOL & BT will supply 1 Mb unlimited Broadband in the U.Kfor £ 14.99 per month with

  • Free Wireless Router

  • Free Connection
  • Free Online Support
  • Full Firewall & Parential Control
  • Free Video Instant messaging

  • For £ 24.99 you can have 2 Mb

  • For £ 29.99 you can have 8 Mb

Compare this with 512 Kb for Ireland and then examine the cost

22nd January 2008

After National Wireless Broadband offered services to the village in February 2007 at a € 300 join up fee and €35.00 per month we had somwhat of a service. This service went intermittant in September 2007 and between 19th December and to-days date the service was available for FOUR DAYS. Is this the Ireland promoted by the then Minister O'Rourke to be the e hub of the entire world.

As for our local Minister of State we had no communication since the letters included below. So much for the quality of local representation, especially when, according to newspaper reports the office carries better remuneration than the American Governments Condolisa Rice. Perhaps, given the dual role of Marine & Communications he is making contact with Dolphins or perhaps a BROADBACK WHALE


Mr John Browne,
Minster of State
Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
29-31 Adelaide Road
Dublin 2

19th November 2006


Dear Minister,

I have been designated to look into the reasoning why Clonroche village and area are deprived of competitively priced broadband facilities

We well remember the time when the then Minister, Mary O'Rourke was telling us Ireland would be foremost in this area and the laying of some cable or other across the Atlantic would ensure this was possible. Where, in the context of Clonroche village, has this aspiration gone wrong and why. Was not the reasoning for the fanfare introduction of this technology to enable rural communities?

In the first instance I wish to establish the following.

    • Why is the Clonroche Digital Telephone Exchange not presently Broadband enabled?

    • Can a date be given when Clonroche Digital Exchange will be Broadband enabled
    • What conditions are envisaged preventing the immediate upgrading of this Exchange?
    • Eircom is the current monopolised owner of this exchange. If they are not in the very near future going to Broadband enable this exchange what plans are in place to "unbundled" this exchange and let BT or other operators provide the service

    • There are some operators, including the IFA, operating a wireless system at uncompetitive charges. As these organisations are not major Telecom players, but rather "piggy backing" it appears it should be possible for the primary operatives to supply the service more competitively. Why and in view of the monopolistic nature of this industry is this not happening?

    • Why is Eircom 'protected' whilst denying rural communities access to what should be an National Asset

    • Are public bodies and representatives in favour of Broadband enabling Clonroche village and what are they constructively doing to deliver this service

It is presumed a satisfactory reply will be forthcoming on the questions raised and I can report to our next meeting the imminent availability of competitively priced Broadband

Yours faithfully,



Lorcan Dunne,

Assistant Secretary


Copies to:

Commission for Communications Regulation
Block DEF, Abbey Court
Irish Life Centre
Lower Abbey Street
Dublin 1

Mr Noel Dempsey,
Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
29-31 Adelaide Road
Dublin 2

The Secretary,
Eircom plc
Head Office,
St Stephens Green West
Dublin 2,

BT Ireland,



Mr. Lorcan Dunne,
Assistant Secretary,
Clonroche Development Assosication Limited,
Co. Wexford.

22nd November 2006


Dear Mr. Dunne,

Thank you for your letter of November 20th in relation to broadband availability in Clonroche.

Like my colleague here in the Department, Minister Noel Dempsey, the members of the Clonroche Develpoment Association and indeed residents of Clonroche, I recognise broadband technology as being important for the area because it has the potential to establish a new level of efficiency and dynamism both in the private and public spheres.

There are significant social and quality of life implications that arise with the emergence of broadband technologies. This stems from the basic premise that broadband is a communications medium that enables individuals and communities to communicate in a way that is richer and more creative than ever before.

It was with interest that I read your correspondence and I am currently making further enquiries into the points you raised. I will be in touch with you again as soon as I have any further information.

In the meantime, if I can be of further assistance with this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely, Kind regards,



John Browne T.D.
Minister of State at the Department of Communications,
Marine and Natural Resources.



Mr John Browne TD
Minister of State
Department of Communications, Marine & Natural Resources,
Leeson Lane,
Dublin 2

26th November 2006

Minister Browne


Thank you for your reply dated 22nd November to mine re the availability of competitively priced Broadband for Clonroche village. I think, in the context of the once national ideals of the embracement of this technology, I raised serious and valid questions. I note in the in the last but final paragraph of your letter you are to make further enquiries on the matter but I'm very surprised that the Government Department responsible for this area is very short on answers.

Minister, you will know I'm not terribly interested in politics and only interested in the betterment of Clonroche so I assume you will understand the impatience and annoyance with the status quo and the lack of progress being made in this area of communications.

I had the reminder of the importance of this technology whilst installing a Point of Sale system recently and although the vendors were costing in excess of € 50,000 for their system WOULD NOT install the software unless a broadband connection was available. The reasoning here is that they can maintain the system remotely through a broadband connection but would have to move their technical personnel on site, with the attendant cost, otherwise.

I think in my initial letter I raised important points and your Department is either in favour of protecting the interest of Eircom or in favour of spreading the service by either Eircom doing the job or opening up to competition. I explained the situation of non-telecom organisation 'piggy backing' on the existing service so why not the prime telecom companies operating a competitive prices. Reselling of an Eircom wholesale product does not constitute a fully liberalised market."

I enclose some important facts on the advancement of Broadband availability in Ireland as seen from outside commentators for your perusal and the cost of connecting to ''BROADBAND'' which is not within the EU legal definition of broadband, in Clonroche. Between € 30 per month to € 240.00 per month for an upload of 064 KBPS and a 512 KBPS down load. As stated this is not within the legal definition of broadband and is as the Hare is to the Tortoise

I trust you will revisit my questions again and I will be eagerly awaiting your answers and actions

Yours faithfully,



Lorcan Dunne,

Assistant Hon Secretary



Commission for
Communications Regulation



Thursday, 23 November 2006

Lorcan Dunne
Clonroche Development Association


Ref: Broadband
Comreg Case Ref: 43926

Dear Mr. Dunne

We acknowledge receipt of your letter received on 22/11/2006 by the ComReg Consumer Care team, regarding your issue re Broadband.

ComReg's focus and responsibilities in the area of Broadband is to ensure the availability of Local Loop Unbundling as well as regulate eircom's wholesale provision of Broadband services to other service providers.

ComReg has imposed certain obligations on eircom under the Universal Service Obligation (USO). In brief, these obligations amongst other things, refer to the right of each citizen of the state to a functional telephone line capable of carrying voice and data. The scope of these obligations, however, only applies to narrowband connections and the target minimum line speed therein is 28.8 kbit/s.

ComReg's approach to USO scope and designation is in accordance with the European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Universal Service and Users Rights) Regulations, S.I. 308 of 2003. These regulations transpose the European Universal Service and Users' Rights Directive and the provision of broadband was specifically excluded from the definition of Universal Service. This was reviewed by the European Commission in 2005, which decided to maintain this specification and as a result the USO obligations refer only to narrowband connections. ComReg's ability, under the USO, to impose obligations on eircom to deliver broadband enabled lines and exchanges is therefore restricted.

Alternative methods of acquiring broadband may be possible via a fixed-wireless operator. Comreg does not have a jurisdiction over the prices of packages offered by the operators.

 In addition, there is a website managed by the Department of Communications, namely, which provides the details of service providers by geographic region and allows users to check with broadband providers are in their area. Also ComReg's website allows consumers to compare and contrast the prices of home phone, broadband and mobile phone providers.

I hope this helps to clarify matters for the residents. Please contact me should you have any further queries.


Yours sincerely,



ComQfeg Consumer Care 'Team


An Coimisiun um Rialail Cumarsaide
Commission for Communications Regulation
Abbey Court Irish Life Centre Lower Abbey Street Dublin I Ireland
Telephone +353 I 804 9600 Fax +353 I 804 9665 Email Web


Consumer Care 'Team
An Coimisiun um Rialail Cumarsaide
Commission for Communications Regulation
Abbey Court Irish Life Centre Lower Abbey Street Dublin I Ireland


Dear Ms

I must acknowledge the honesty of your reply to mine of the 22nd inst. It appears from your letter as far as the Commission for Communications is concerned there is no interest or drive to Broadband enable Clonroche village or even bigger centres of population.

This is in sharp contrast to Government rhetoric of the last few years when at least Mary O'Rourke and her Department were intent on making us the "super highway of the world". I cannot see this being achieved on 28.8 Kbps can you?

In your first paragraph you outline your responsibilities in Local Loop Unbundling and I'm sure I posed the question of when the Telecom Exchange in Clonroche will be unbundled and you failed to inform me.

You then very quickly introduced USO which is basically the supply of a telephone line, which is FAX, enabled. Ma Bell was doing this in the nineteen twenties. I am taking it your are not suggesting we form part of the Super Highway on a 28.8 kbps connection.

You then go on to quote EU Regulations. Have you no aspirations? Are you compelled to ensure Clonroche and other rural areas are denied competitively priced Broadband? Are EU Regulations restricting Irelands rural villages from competitively priced Broadband?

Please Read "Ireland 'second last on broadband'"

As the countries above are part of the EU why are they not restricted by the same EU Regulations? With respect to alternative methods of acquiring "Broadband" I think you should take a look at the market and the pricing. I enclose a copy of some availability in Clonroche.

With respect to the Governments site It's not even working. I informed an official in that Department of this problem about six weeks ago. I looked in on the site on Saturday last and it's still not working. Try clicking on the map.

Is there anymore to be said. Once again thank you for your honesty.

Kindest Regards


Ireland 'second last on broadband'

September 14, 2006 13:14

A new report on broadband penetration puts Ireland 14th of 15 EU countries, not including the 10 new members who joined in 2004.

Denmark is top fo the league with 30% penetration, while Greece is bottom with 2%%. Ireland's penetration rate was 8%.

The report, from the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, shows overall penetration in the first quarter of this year at 14%, with the number of lines increasing by 5.5 million or 9%, in the EU. The number of lines was up 9% over the previous quarter.

Details from the report:

Ireland ranks 24th out of 30 in the OECD for Broadband. One position less than December 2005 where we were 23rd out of 30 (Source). Ireland was 24th in June 2005.

14 countries gained more than Ireland since last year. All of which were already ahead of Ireland in OECD rankings showing that while we have gained, a large proportion of the OECD are pulling further away from Ireland. These countries are:

United Kingdom
Czech Republic

Looking at the graph of GDP versus broadband penetration, no other country apart from Greece has such a massive difference between GDP and broadband penetration.



IrelandOffline Slams Ineffective Government Broadband Policies

October 13th, 2006

Ireland falls a place in OECD Broadband Rankings. 14 countries gain more than Ireland.

Consumer lobby group IrelandOffline today slammed the Government's broadband policies saying they are ineffective in keeping Ireland competitive.

In wake of today's OECD report on broadband showing a drop to 24th from 23rd place in December 2005, IrelandOffline calls on the Minister of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources to take decisive action in addressing the massive broadband failings in Ireland before the digital divide between Ireland and the rest of the OECD becomes insurmountable.

Chairman of IrelandOffline Damien Mulley commented "The Government is wilfully ignoring valid recommendations from Forfas, the Oireachtas and the Information Society Commission while at the same time inventing meaningless broadband targets to make it look like Ireland is achieving something. Ireland has achieved the dubious international status of being a broadband backwater. The OECD report clearly shows this."

Speaking on the areas that need rapid attention, vice-chairman John Timmons said "There are not one but two elephants in the room the Minister is refusing to recognise. Firstly, tackle Eircom head on and open up the infrastructure to increase competition.

Secondly, the Minister needs to restructure the telecoms regulator ComReg who have shown they do not have the fortitude to bring about genuine competition in the broadband market. The recent Smart debacle shows how weak-willed and ineffectual they are."

Mulley added "Nothing short of a complete slash and burn of current telecoms policy will make a dent on our international position for broadband. Contrary to what Minister Dempsey states the reselling of an eircom wholesale product does not constitute a fully liberalised market."



IrelandOffline call on Minister Dempsey to give wireless broadband to everyone

September 29th, 2006

IrelandOffline today called on Minister Noel Dempsey to intervene and give hope to the 25% of the population who cannot get broadband by revoking Eircom's drastically underused Fixed Wireless Broadband Access (FWA) licence and redistributing the spectrum to other broadband providers who will make better use of this national resource.

According to an Oireachtas report from March this year, Eircom has used their FWA licence in only 80 locations (listed below) and supplies broadband using FWA to just 250 customers, despite the fact that the spectrum could be used to offer broadband to the whole country. This Oireachtas report suggested Eircom may have been "sitting on this licence".

Damien Mulley, chairman of IrelandOffline, stated "Wireless spectrum is an important natural resource and it should be used as efficiently as any other. Eircom does not advertise this service. If a customer tries to place an order for FWA, Eircom's staff tell you they are unaware of this service. There are over 1 million people who cannot get broadband in Ireland today but if Eircom used this resource efficiently and advertised it they could solve the majority of Ireland's well publicised broadband problems."




IrelandOffline spokesperson Eamonn Wallace stated: "ComReg awarded Eircom one of these very rare national wireless licences with full knowledge they already had a monopoly on supplying broadband via phone lines. Even after awarding this precious spectrum, they have not ensured that the terms of the licence have been met in the interests of the public. After all, this is a national resource and should be utilised for the purpose for which it was allocated."

Wallace added "With ComReg's passive attitude towards Eircom, we now call on the Minister to intervene and release the spectrum and licence and offer it to companies willing to supply broadband to the hundreds of thousands of Irish citizens who are stuck on dialup because their phone lines fail Eircom's broadband tests."

The ECTA, which represents rival companies to former State-owned incumbents such as Eircom and BT, said the gap between the best and worst performers was growing.

Telecoms lobby group Ireland Offline that although Ireland's growth rate for the last quarter was 19%, penetration was the key indicator and Ireland looked as if it would 'lose the broadband battle'.


Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources

An Roinn Cumarsaide,

Mam agus Acmhainnf Nadurtha

Office of the Minister of State

Oifig an A/re Stall

Ref. No. JB/AMcQ/ConstitBB/061219

Mr. Lorcan Dunne,
Assistant Secretary,
Clonroche Development Association Limited,
Co. Wexford.

19th December 2006

Dear Mr. Dunne,

I am writing to you in relation to your recent letter concerning broadband in Clonroche. I believe you have also been in touch with my Ministerial colleague, Noel Dempsey, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. Minister Dempsey is aware of your concerns and I have forwarded a copy of this letter to him to keep him abreast of your particular case.

The current position is that the provision of telecommunications services, including broadband, is a matter in the first instance for the private sector companies operating in a fully liberalised market.

There are many areas in the country where, for demographic or other reasons, the private sector has been slow to respond to the demand for broadband. In cases where the market is seen to have failed, my Department is addressing the investment shortfall in infrastructure using a combination of Government and ERDF funding through it's Regional Broadband Programmes.

However, despite Government investment in broadband in regions through the Regional Broadband programmes, there are still unfortunately parts of the country where the private sector will be unable to justify the commercial provision of broadband connectivity.

Options to address the gaps in broadband coverage are currently being considered by a Steering Group comprising officials from my Department and representatives from ComReg. An announcement is expected shortly on this matter.

In the meantime, if I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me again. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and all

Constituency Office: 6 Court Street, Enniscorthy Co. Wexford.

6 Sraid an Chuirt, Inis Cortaidh, Loch Garmain. Tel +00353 53 92 35046 Fax +00353 53 92 35049


06 January 2007
Mr John Browne
Minister of State
Department of COMMUNICATIONS Marine & Natural Resources
Leeson Lane
Dublin 2


Dear Minister

I'm attempting to download a programme from McAfee. The size of this essential programme is 33,486 kb. The speed of my connection is 3 kb/s. It will take 186 minutes to download&ldots;.over three hours. A 1 mb broadband connection will down load this file in 30 seconds. John you are a Minister in the Dept of Communications and we in Ireland are still living in mud cabins.

As stated in previous letters I had a company selling a € 55,000 Point of Sale programme refusing to do business because of the non-existence of Broadband. Broadband must be very important for a company to turn down € 55,000 of business

You saw my letter from ComReg, quoting EU Directives and guaranteeing no more than a fax connection and yet Doherty was recently interview by Matt Cooper on To-Day-At-Five talking bullshit.

John, you were not a bad hurler and you know that you can play with the ball all you like around the field but if you don't score its all in vain. It the same with modern communications. For Christ sake John rattle the net!!.

As stated before there is no point in having Mickey Mouse Operators in this field. There are even some private individuals attempting to supply broadband. The IFA is a Farmers Union its not a tele communications company and its in this field. The are all-piggybacking on the monopoly Eircom and they are loving it. You have to open up to BT, Sky and other big outfits or we will continue to live in mud cabins

The Broadband must be taken seriously, ditch the Mickey Mouse outfits, and supply 2 mb @ € 18.50 / month. No more excuses John you have to score the goal.

By the way in England you can have 8 Mb/s. At that speed the programme that is taking me 3 hours to down load in the backwoods of Clonroche would be downloaded in NINE SECONDS. The cost of that service from BT is £29.00 per month

Yours faithfully,


Lorcan Dunne,

Hon Assistant Secretary


Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources

An Roinn Cumarsdide,
Mara agus Acmhainni Nadurtha

Office of the Minister of State
Oifig an Aire Stait

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Leeson Lane, Dublin 2
Ldna Chill Mochargan, Baile Atha Cliath 2


Lorcan Dunne
Hon Assistant Secretary
Clonroche Development Association Ltd
Co Wexford



Dear Lorcan

I would like to acknowledge receipt of your letter regarding Broadband and inform you I have been in contact with my Department Officials concerning same. I will revert to you as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me at anytime.




Minister of State at the Department of Communications Marine\& Natural Resources

Constituency Office: 6 Court Street, Enniscorthy Co. Wexford.

6 Sraid an Chuirt, Inis Cortaidh, Loch Garmain. Tel +00353 53 92 35046 Fax +00353 53 92 35049


Some Notes I have Picked Up


Estonia has 1% more on us for PC penetration and yet has a broadband penetration rate that's 4 times as much as us. (EU Report)

Each month ComReg, the telecoms poodle release a half-arsed report about Local Loop Unbundling and each month it is later and later in the month before it is released. Generally the report talks about the great progress of the LLU negotiations, which for those that read my telecoms rants know, ComReg are not to be trusted for reports or statements which say everything is fine. BT walked from the LLU talks earlier in the year and ComReg got a little irked. (It is also known that Minister Dempsey went apeshit over what BT did and gave out stink that they went public on it. There's concern for the consumers, eh Minister? ) ( Alternative Telcos lobby group for Ireland.)


The report says that 50% of all LLU orders sent to eircom are being rejected by them for various reasons, that they will NOT create an automated ordering system for LLU meaning no mass migrations of userbases from bitstream to generally cheaper and faster LLU products. (This is what TalkTalk in the UK did) and eircom also said if they do decide that there is a need for an automated ordering system it will take them 12 months to create it.

Effectively it means that LLU has been stalled for yet another year at the very least. So where's the industry reaction? Where's ALTO? Shouldn't the public have a right to know that 2007 is another year of them being told they can't get decent choice in broadband? I guess the industry is far too comfortable with what they're doing.

So I think I'll offer a reward. Anyone that spots ALTO will win a prize. Come on and do your job ALTO, it'd be nice to not be the sole voice out there. Right now it seems IrelandOffline are filling a vacuum that was left by someone.

ComReg lied lied lied to the Oireachtas when they testified in front of them a few months ago. They told them the failure rate in the Republic was the same as the North. It's 0.0015% there and 12% here. 8000 times higher. I'm glad something is going to be done about the continuous lies our telecoms regulator is telling.


Mr John Browne,
Minister of State,
Dept Communications, Marine & NaturalResources,
Leeson Lane,
Dublin 2

21st January 2007


Dear Minister,

A private individual from New Ross has installed wireless/ satellite Broadband in Clonroche Community Centre to service the Village & Surrounding areas. It is thought a signal from Clonroche can beam into Enniscorthy. The speed is 1mb up and 1mb down minimum. Always on no restrictions. The cost: €300 installation fee and €35.00 per month.

This is the monopoly Eircoms Answer:

How much does it cost?


Product 	Speed 	Download allowance 	Support Number 	Connection 	Rental

FWA Packet	512k download / 64k upload	Unlimited.	1890 457 048.**	€ 732.05 (inc. VAT) / € 605 (ex. VAT).	€ 54.45 (inc. VAT) / €45 (ex. VAT).

** Calls charged at local call rate. Minimum charge of 6.35c (inc. VAT) eircom fixed wireless access frequently asked questions.

Note: 512 kb download & 64k upload. Our old Postman, Denis Larkin would be quicker on his bike. And the cost of these boyos !!.

Where Eircom has installed Broadband they introduced either time or quantity restrictions. Broadband was to be "Always on" and to carry voice and data on the same line without restrictions. Rip Off Ireland Again

Minister, the Telecom market in Ireland is a mess and a mess we are going to pay for. Sir Anthony got his mitts on Eircom, collected the rental, accomplished nothing on the technical side and sold at a very high valuation to Babcock & Browne. The Telecom "Industry" in Ireland helped Sir Denis to become a tax exile. He didn't achieve much for the country either.

These fellows are not advancing the country and they have a monopolistic position to bleed the Irish Community. Have they got government support ?

Over the past few weeks I have been informing you of the lack of commitment from Eircom and the rest of this "industry". I have raised the question of when the Telephone Exchange in Clonroche will be Broadband enabled or opened up. I have raised the question of non Telecom Companies whom have neither the expertise nor the finances to advance our position "piggybacking" on the monopolistic Eircom. I heard the Farmers Union describing itself on RTE Radio as IFA Telecom and seeking €300 per household from Government coffers for the privilege. The country is not going to advance with this type of nonsense. Eircom is still drawing its revenue from these fellows in rentals and fees. Eircom must be encouraged to compete with SERIOUS Competition other wise we are fooling ourselves.

Reading Kibert in the Sunday Times to day he is suggesting Ireland was in the top three with respect to Public Investment as a percentage of GDP. Britain & Germany were bringing up the rear. Fooling ourselves. The reason Germany is last is because they had a proper road network in the 1930's. I was in Hamburg before Christmas and a tube train was available EVERY four minutes. Britain have massive Broadband coverage and as stated in previous letters, EIGHT MEGS available from BT at £29.00 / month. Fooling ourselves. We will continue to fool ourselves if we think that IFA Telecom and private individuals are going to take us to the forefront of the word in telecommunications. Common sense dictates otherwise.

Are the Irish still milking the Irish or are we going to improve?


Yours faithfully,



Lorcan Dunne,

Assistant Hon Secretary