Questions posed to Minister Noel Dempsey T.D., Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Q1.Is it correct to assert that the most recent strategy document published by the Department would appear to be from 2003?
Q2.What is the Department’s current Broadband Strategy? How often is this strategy updated, published and where is it available?
Q3In regard to;
a)Broadband take up
d)Broader demographic penetration
What targets have been set by the Department for the period 2006 — 2010?
Q4Do other Departments feed into these targets? If so; in what way do they feed-in and which are the Departments that do?
Q5.What structures are in place to connect the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources strategy with the demand-side strategy of other Government Departments?
Q6.The Joint Committee, in recommendation 2.4 of the Second Report, called for ‘closer co-operation between Government, the telecoms industry ad the end-users of Broadband services.’ How has this recommendation been implemented? Is there a stakeholders group, if so who are members and, how often has it meet?
Q7.Does the Department concur that the transition to the ‘knowledge based economy’ requires the take-up of higher-speed broadband?
Q8.What plans/policies has the Department to drive up the computer penetration rate in Ireland?
Q9.In the most recent Forfás benchmarking study: Ireland continues to be outperformed by other countries in terms of broadband take-up:
The key reasons which have emerged from the available benchmarking analysis is:
a)Widespread broadband availability in other countries
b)Competition in the marketplace — both between and within platforms
c)High PC penetration/ICT literate societies
d)Integrated ICT/education policies
e)Initiatives to create awareness and stimulate demand
What leads the Department to hold that its strategies and polices are sufficient to address these issues?
Q10.In the most recent OECD report — Ireland, in terms of broadband take-up, is shown to be 23rd out of the 30 OECD countries. What is the evidence the Department has to support of the Department’s claim that the Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN’s) and Group Broadband Schemes (GBS) are successful policies/strategies in delivering broadband take up?
Available Fibre and Investment in the MAN’s:
Q11.Before investing public money in putting fibre in the ground does the Department ensure there is an audit of all fibre that is currently lit and unlit?
Q12.Has the Department discussed lease/buy-out arrangements with the owners of any available fibre?
Q13.How did the Department establish and evaluate the cost of using existing fibre, whether private or Semi-state owned, before investing public money in the MAN’s
Q14.How much backhaul fibre assets are in State or Semi-state hands (e.g. ESB, Bord Gáis)?
Q15.Why is existing fibre in the ground not used before investing public money in the MAN’s?
Q16.What, on the 1st June 2006, is the take-up on the MAN’s?
Q17.What, by the 1st January 2007, is the projected take-up on the MAN’s?
Q18.How does the Department measure and ensure that both the use and value of the MAN’s delivers, in terms of the investment of public monies, value for money?
Q19.How does the Department measure the effectiveness and value for money of the Management Services Entity (MSE) service provided by eNET?
Q20.In regard to eNET
a)Have the Department set specific, in terms of financial, take-up or other metric, targets to be met by eNET?
b)Are these published?
c)Are they being monitored and being met?
d)How are eNET incentivised to meet these targets?
Q21.As of the 1st June 2006 how many of the MAN’s, phase 1 and 2, have been completed?
Q22.As of the 1st June 2006 how many of the MAN’s, phase 1 and 2, are lit and how many are unlit?
Q23.As of the 1st January 2007 how many of the MAN’s, phase 1 and 2, will be completed?
Q24.As of the 1st January 2007 how many of the MAN’s, phase 1 and 2, will be lit and how many unlit?
Q25.As of the 1st June 2006 how many users are there on the MAN’s?
Q26.What percentage of SME’s, with broadband, are getting service directly from the MAN’s?
Q27.What percentage of SME’s, with broadband, are getting service indirectly from the MAN’s?
Q28.What percentage, of domestic users with broadband, are getting a service directly from the MAN’s?
Q29.What percentage, of domestic users with broadband, are getting a service indirectly from the MAN’s?
Q30.What are the return-on-investment projections for the MAN’s up to 2007 and for the period 2007 — 2012?
Q31.How many of the schools on the Schools Broadband scheme can be connected via the MAN’s?
Q32.How many of the schools on the Schools Broadband scheme will be connected via the MAN’s?
Q33.How many hospitals are getting a Broadband service through the MAN’S?
Q34.In regard to connection onto the MAN’s, what is the Department’s policy for domestic & business users?
Investment in Group Broadband Schemes (GBS):
Q35.As of the 1st June 2006 how many GBS schemes have been funded?
Q36.As of the 1st June 2006 how many are up and running?
Q37.As of the 1st June 2006 what are the actual number of users taking up a broadband service through a GBS?
Q38.As of the 1st June 2006 how many Group Broadband Schemes have been made redundant through market availability of FWA or DSL?
Q39.As of the 1st June 2006 what is rate of loss of users in Group Broadband Schemes?
Q40.Why does Ireland continue to have the highest line rental charge in Europe; €8 above the EU average and €6 above the nearest other EU country
Q41.What is the Department’s policy to address this competitiveness’ issue?