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Ireland's E-Commerce Aim In Jeopardy

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

04 December 2001


According to the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators (ALTO) in Ireland, the government's goal of strengthening Ireland as a major e-commerce hub could be in jeopardy thanks to its poor telecoms liberalisation policy.

ALTO says that an EU report published this week has identified several ways in which Ireland reduces competition. ALTO chairman, Mr Iarla Flynn, said the report referred to Ireland as a country where telecoms operators are regularly granted leave to appeal against regulatory decisions.

Entitled the 'Seventh Annual Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package', the report outlines major problemat areas including fees for access to mobile networks, the practice of Digifone and Eircell Vodafone of maintaining artificially high charges, and the reputation of Eircom's leased lines performance as one of the worst in the EU.

In addition, the report reveals Ireland to be the only EU country not to have launched any DSL lines or to have unbundled a single local loop.

The Commission has recommended that the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Regulation (ODTR) lowers currently over-priced telecommunications charges.


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