Irish fixed line incumbent operator eircom says its broadband rollout programme is on track, having enabled a further 125 digital exchanges last year to raise its total to 680. SiliconRepublic writes that the former monopoly has also launched a new information portal designed to increase awareness of broadband, including detailed information on broadband availability, rollout schedules and NGN deployments in specific locations in the Republic. eircom says that in the first week of 2009 alone it has broadband-enabled a further eight exchanges, meaning that presently some 1.4 million working telephone lines can support broadband.
However, the operator’s claims are at stark variance to a recent announcement by the Irish broadband lobby group IrelandOffline, which says it is reforming to tackle what it sees as a ‘looming crisis’ in the sector. The group’s interim spokesperson Eamonn Wallace said IrelandOffline was astonished at recent developments in the country’s National Broadband Scheme, including the award of a national contract to 3 Ireland, which Wallace and the lobby group claim has a poor record when it comes to technological developments and customer service. The group has also expressed concern over a lack of meaningful development in broadband availability since the IrelandOffline disbanded in 2007.