Telecommunications in the Republic of Ireland
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Telecommunications in the Republic of Ireland includes telephone, Internet, radio, and television. Each of these markets has been opened to competition and are now digital.
Telecommunications, including radio frequency spectrum licensing and the postal sector, are regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). ComReg was established on 1 December 2002. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) (Irish: Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann) is the regulator of both public and commercial broadcasting sector in Ireland. It was established on 1 October 2009, replacing the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) (Irish: Coimisiún Craolacháin na hÉireann).
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has overall responsibility for national policy and regulation of both telecommunications and broadcasting.
The telecommunications market in Ireland was opened to competition in 1998.1 In 2007 licensed operators other than Eircom, the former state-owned monopoly, accounted for 32% of the market.2 By June 2011 this figure had risen to 41% of fixed line revenue.3 Eircom remains the largest telecommunications company in Ireland, offering fixed, mobile, and broadband services. As Bord Telecom Éireann, the company was state owned until 1999, when it was floated on the Irish and New York Stock Exchanges.
A modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay. A privatized system, but still dominated by the former state monopoly operator. Ireland is a landing point for the Hibernia Atlantic submarine cable with links to the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. There is one satellite earth station: Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean).4
- Fixed telephone lines in use: 2.0 million (2011)4
- Mobile cellular telephones: 4.9 million (2011)4
- Country code: 3534
There are also four MNVOs (Mobile Network Virtual Operator): 48 (runs off the O2 Network), eMobile (runs off the Meteor network), Tesco Mobile (runs off the O2 Network), and Postfone (runs off the Vodafone network). Three new MNVO's will be launched in Ireland in 2012: More Mobile (runs off the 3 Ireland network), Blueface (runs off the 3 Ireland network), and LycaMobile. UPC Ireland has confirmed that they will be launching an MVNO in the future, though it is unknown when this entry might occur.dated info
- Internet users: 3.6 million, 77% of the population, 70th in the world (2011);5 3.0 million, 67th in the world (2009)4
- Dial-up subscriptions: 34,109 or 2.1% of total Internet subscriptions (2011)3
- Fixed broadband subscriptions: 1.045 million or 23% of the population (2011)36
- Mobile broadband subscriptions: 583,755 or 13% of the population (2011);3 370,424 or 8.4% (2009)7
- Internet hosts: 1.4 million, 40th in the world (2012)4
- Internet censorship: Little or none (2011)8
- Top-level domain name: .ie4
Broadband Internet access is available in Ireland via DSL, cable, wireless, and satellite. By the end of 2011 Eircom announced that 75% of its working lines would be connected to Next Generation Broadband (NGB) enabled exchanges.3
A typical monthly broadband Internet subscription cost $26.02 in 2011, 14% less than the average of $30.16 for the 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries surveyed.9
- 70-100 Mbit/s broadband service available to at least 50 per cent of the population,
- at least 40 Mbit/s available to at least a further 20 per cent, and
- a minimum of 30 Mbit/s available to everyone, no matter how rural or remote.
Founded in 1996, the Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX) is an industry-owned association that provides IP peering and traffic exchange for its members in Ireland. The INEX switching centres are located in four secure data centres in Dublin: TeleCity Group in Kilcarbery Park, Dublin 22 & TeleCity Group in Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 and Interxion DUB1, and Interxion DUB2 in Park West. The switches are connected by dedicated resilient fibre links.11 In March 2013 it listed 57 full and 18 associate members.12
Raidió Teilifís Éireann (Irish pronunciation: [ˈradʲo ˈtʲɛlʲəfʲiːʃ ˈeːrʲən] ( listen); Radio [and] Television of Ireland; abbreviated as RTÉ) is a statutory semi-state company and the public service broadcaster15 that dominates the radio and TV sectors in Ireland. The first commercial radio stations began broadcasting in 1989. Prior to 1989 hundreds of pirate radio stations were a mainstay of radio listener-ship, particularly in Dublin, and a handfull of pirate stations continue to operate illegally today. In 1998 TV3 became the first privately owned commercial TV station and it remains the main free-to-air service after RTÉ. Competition also comes from British public and private terrestrial TV. Satellite and cable TV are widely available. There are also non-commercial community and special interest radio stations.16
RTÉ both produces programmes and broadcasts them on television, radio and the Internet in English and Irish. The radio service began on 1 January 1926,17 while regular television broadcasts began on 31 December 1961,18 making RTÉ one of the oldest continuously operating public service broadcasters in the world. Some RTÉ services are only funded by advertising, while other RTÉ services are only funded by the television licence fee.
Saorview (pron.: // SAIR-vyoo) is Ireland's national free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) service operated by RTÉ NL. Trial service began on 29 October 2010 with full service to the public from May 2011.1920 Analogue television transmissions ended on the 24 October 2012.21
A television licence is required for any address at which there is a television set or device that is not exempt. The annual licence fee is €160. The licence is free to senior citizens (to anyone over the age of 70, some over 66), some Social Welfare recipients, and individuals who are blind.22
- Community Radio Forum of Ireland (CRAOL)
- Internet censorship in Ireland
- List of Irish-Gaelic radio stations
- List of television channels available in the Republic of Ireland
- Media of the Republic of Ireland
- "Irish telecom market opens to competition", CNN, 7 December 1998
- Quarterly Key Data Report for September 2007, Commission for Communications Regulation (Comreg), 7 September 2007, page 11, Fig 2.1.3
- "Annual Report 2010 / 2011", Commission for Communications Regulation, 20 April 2012
- "Communications :: Ireland", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, retrieved 28 February 2013
- Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2011, International Telecommunication Union, accessed on 19 August 2012.
- Note: Because an Internet subscription may be shared by many people, the penetration rate will not reflect the actual level of access to broadband Internet of the population.
- Annual Report 09, Commission for Communications Regulation (Comreg), 12 July 2010
- "Ireland: Freedom of Speech and Press and Internet Freedom", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State
- "USD PPP for Eircom Next Generation Broadband Basic (512kbit/s up, 8.2 Mbit/s down) as reported in question 4e, OECD Fixed Broadband basket low 2", OECD Broadband statistics, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, September 2011, updated 18 July 2012
- "Rabbitte unveils broadband plan", Mary Minihan and Deaglán de Bréadún, Irish Times, 30 August 2012
- "History of INEX", Internet Neutral Exchange, retrieved 3 March 2013
- "INEX Public Member List", Internet Neutral Exchange, retrieved 3 March 2013
- "About ISPAI", Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland, retrieved 3 March 2013
- "Register of Members (Current)", Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland, 1 August 2012, retrieved 3 March 2013
- Broadcasting Act 2009 (Section 113), Irish Statute Book, Office of the Attorney General, Government of Ireland, 12 July 2009
- "Ireland profile: Media", BBC News, 26 March 2012
- "RTÉ Annual Report 2000 pp3" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "RTÉ Annual Report 2002 pp10" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "DTT to be launched on 31 October", RTÉ News, 4 June 2010]
- Saorview. "SAORVIEW Launches Public Information Campaign | SAORVIEW". Saorview.ie. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "Analogue switch off has finally happened", Saorview, 24 October 2012
- "Personal Customers / Pay for your TV licence - Ireland". An Post. Retrieved 2 May 2008.