Magnet Networks’ Vern Kennedy is calling on the Irish government to set up a Universal Service Fund (USF) through which money can be raised to improve broadband access – particularly in rural or less economically viable regions. SiliconRepublic.com reports that the alternative operator is calling for a slush fund in which every telco would contribute between EUR3 and EUR4 (USD4.25 and USD5.67) from every telephone bill to make it easier for companies to roll out high speed networks in more remote parts of the Republic. Kennedy noted that such a strategy had been used to good effect in the US and other countries and had resulted in increased broadband rollout in regional areas.
The Magnet chief said his firm had access to 40 unbundled exchanges across the country and also provided fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in 22 new housing developments around the country. However, he went on to point out that around 15% of the population is currently unable to access high speed internet services due to problems over economic viability and industry issues over the automation of local loop unbundling (LLU).