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Internet users in Ireland are paying through the nose for high speed net access with broadband charges in the country amongst the highest in the world.

When it comes to the high price of broadband among the 30 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries only three others - Luxembourg, Denmark and Iceland - are more expensive than Ireland, a report has found.

Punters who are able to subscribe to broadband in Ireland can expect to pay €39.98 a month for a 512k connection, according to a report compiled by internet consumer group IrelandOffline. In Korea, which topped the broadband league table, a 2.5 Meg connection costs €13.

Those behind the report claim net users in IreIand are getting a raw deal. Said IrelandOffline chairman Damien Mulley: "This report is the clearest evidence yet as to the state of broadband in Ireland. No talking up, side-stepping, or clever marketing can distract from the evidence: 26 other countries in the league of 30 score better for value for money."

The group said that "high prices and below average broadband packages are symptomatic of poor competition in broadband markets".

No one at eircom was available for comment at the time of writing. Last week, though, it announced plans to double the entry-level speed for broadband in a move it claims will help boost demand for high speed net access. The incumbent claimed that the speed upgrade underlined its "commitment to provide broadband for everyone in Ireland". ®

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