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DSL roll-out delayed in Ireland

Regulator wants to ensure pricing is competitive

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Net users in Ireland will have to wait even longer for broadband, following the regulator's insistence that it wants to ensure that eircom's wholesale pricing is competitive.

Yesterday, Telecoms Regulator Etain Doyle asked incumbent telco eircom to submit revised wholesale pricing proposals and to provide evidence that their pricing proposals did not breach competition laws.

Despite earlier negotiations between the Office of the Director of the Telecommunications Regulator (ODTR) and eircom, the regulator wants to see proof that the proposed wholesale prices are offered on a "cost oriented and non-discriminatory basis".

The result is that eircom's i-stream ADSL service - which was due to be launched in the next couple of days - is likely to be delayed for at least three weeks since.

The Regulator has directed eircom not to launch the service until 21 days after she has approved the revised prices.

However, the delay has riled those lobbying for broadband access in Ireland.

Said Elana Kehoe of Ireland Offline: "This is getting beyond frustrating. I guess we can't really complain because the ODTR is looking out for the best interests of consumers.

"Except it is consumers who are caught in the middle of this slanging match. It is the consumer that is going to be losing out," she said. ®

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