Is the screw turning on ComReg and the broadband providers?

Two interesting bits in the papers of late. First in the Business Post was a bit about the Consumers Association of Ireland getting quite gung ho with ComReg and are (very Stephen Colbert) putting ComReg and the DCENR on notice. Seems they had a meeting on Monday and pointed out all the areas where ComReg was doing a bad job. Long meeting I guess? About time that the CAI made some noises after sitting on ComReg’s Consumer sham Panel which did nothing but give ComReg credibility when it deserved to be condemned.

Nice quotes:

‘‘ComReg has been in existence for over five years and, by now, we would have expected it to have made significant strides. In some cases, not much has changed since the days when these sectors were run by the Department of Public Enterprise,’’ Doorley said.

‘‘However, if the review suggests that it has the powers and has failed to act, then the CAI will be putting ComReg and the government on notice that, if it does not reform and perform within a reasonable period of time, then it should be stripped of its consumer protection role and it should be given to another body.

‘‘In short, it will be a case of shape up or ship out.”

Secondly the Advertising Standards Authority, an industry “regulated” group has new advertising codes for broadband (Irish Times link) which will urge broadband providers to declare average speeds during peak hours when they advertise. This I’m more cynical about. The ASAI cannot force anyone to do this. It’s all urging and writing them notes if they don’t comply. No legal powers at all. No fines. Previously telcos have ignored the ASAI‘s notices. They also have a code for availability/coverage. Now that will be interesting. With Mobile broadband in Ireland being muck, I wonder what the speeds advertised will be now and whether they’ll release the data to the public. ComReg should be doing this on a monthly basis.

9 Responses to “Is the screw turning on ComReg and the broadband providers?”

  1. Brian says:

    For an economy that is trying to compete in the technology sector the broadband issue is embarrassing.

    Just came across this today

    “been without Internet access in Dublin for the last 14 hours. It’s killing me.”

  2. Le sigh, I just heard that Sweden are upgrading their network to provide a minimum of 30MB connections in the remote areas and 100MB in their major metro areas. Are Irish people happy to settle for 2MB?

    The government need to push this issue, give the ASAI power (flight, invincibility, ability to resist brown envelopes) would be one idea. We can all agree on one thing and that’s that it’s going to be a long frustrating journey before the major telcos get their fingers out of their ass.

  3. Darragh says:

    @Brian – how embarrassing/humiliating is that?

  4. Brian says:

    @Darragh – I was appalled.

    You either get fleeced or can’t get broadband in Irish hotels (for the most part). I would much prefer to see Tourism Ireland ensure free public wi-fi in Irish hotels and guesthouses than spend a fortune on a Second Life St. Patricks Day Parade.

  5. Darragh says:

    @Brian – it’s just a sign of priorities, understandings and marketing tickboxes.

    Some (well paid no doubt) “marketer” presumably thought “Oh yes, this second life thing they’re talking about, we should do something in that” without exactly thinking it through…

    It’s like the companies who add blogs to their websites because they think that’s what they should have, and never bother to put any resource into it. Jaysis.

  6. […] story came to mind for a few reasons, firstly Damien was continuing the much need debate on Broadband in Ireland and secondly that I saw that Tourism Ireland were having a St. Patricks Day Parade in Second […]

  7. Brian says:

    @Darragh – Well “the marketer” seems to have marketed himself very well judging by the media reports.

    Felt it was worthy of a blog post myself:

  8. Emmet Kelly says:

    Damian, I totally agree that broadband needs to be increased, and that ComReg need to whip some arses, but I also think there needs to be much more clarity in relation to how broadband is defined, so we can at least have semi accurate figures. There’s much more broadband around than is currently accepted, because the measures don’t stretch beyond at home broadband connectivity, and don’t actually refer to the speed of people’s internet access, outside the home regardless of where that may be. I discuss this, and give corrected figures for true broadband penetration in a recent piece I wrote for



  9. Tom Young says:

    Its more baseless shite from baseless shite-talkers. Toothless, Tiger-less soon to be economy-less.