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An Internet pressure group is hoping that a meeting planned for next week will help kick-start the introduction of affordable Net access in Ireland.

Showing that people power really can work, those behind Ireland Offline have succeeded in attracting a Government Minister plus top officials and executives from the telcoms and Internet industry to the meeting.

The aim is to bring all interested parties in one room to discuss what needs to be done to bring "acceptable and affordable" Internet access in Ireland.

Said Martin Harran, chairman of Ireland Offline: "Internet access in Ireland has stalled, and we have a chance to do something about it.

"By getting this group of interested parties together, everyone is able to share their ideas and concerns with the others attending.

"Our goal is fast Internet access that anyone in Ireland can afford," he said.

Echoing the work of the Campaign for Unmetered Telecommunications (CUT), which did so much to help secure the introduction of unmetered Net access in the UK, Ireland Offline maintains that the lack of a wholesale unmetered Net access product is restricting the growth and development of the Net in Ireland.

It also hopes to highlight the lack of broadband services in the country.

Those attending The Net Imperative: Improving Internet Access in Ireland include Mary O'Rourke, Minister for Public Enterprise; Etain Doyle, Director of Telecommunications Regulation (ODTR); Derek Kickham, CEO of EsatFusion. A delegate from Eircom will also be present.

The seminar will take place at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin on 29 August 2001 at 4.00pm. Admission costs £20, half-price for Ireland Offline members.

For further details about the event or Ireland Offline check out their Web site IrelandOffline.com. ®

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