Broadband lobby group, Ireland Offline, have questioned the decision of the Communications Minister to appoint Prisa Technology/Consulting to assist in the implementation of high speed broadband in Ireland.
Speaking to mypurplechair.com, Ireland Offline spokesman, Eamon Wallace said that its clear by examining the chosen consultant's website that Prisa have no expertise in the telecoms industry whatsoever.
"Its an incredibly complex field," Mr Wallace said.
"Sure they will probably be great project managers but they are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) specialists and business consultants. But looking at Prisa, they dont seem to have a clue about the telecom's industry," he added.
The announcement of the appointment of Prisa was made this morning in a statement by the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte.
The Minister said that the company would be assisting the Department of Communications in 'driving the design, planning and procurement of a State-led investment in high speed broadband in Ireland'.
Minister Rabbitte said that the Government was committed to ensuring that less densely populated areas would be able to receive very fast broadband and that this would require State intervention.
“Access to high speed broadband is a must for a modern society. Digital services are playing an increasingly important role in business, entertainment, education, health and Government.
"It is vital that all our citizens can access and avail of fast reliable broadband services irrespective of their geographic locations. The Government is firmly committed to this objective," he said.
The Minister said that the appointment of Prisa was an important milestone for the envisaged delivery of high speed broadband connectivity right across the country.
But Mr Wallace reiterated that the National Broadband Plan should deliver fibre to the community no matter where they are in the country, and he questioned what he said was the Department of Communication's belief that mobile was the answer for sending ultra-fast broadband speeds across the country.
Ireland Offline say their common view is that 4G will deliver to an extent, but only given certain criteria, and that anything more solid by way of 4G delivery was just wishful thinking.
"The department have been sold on that idea that mobile is the best option, and there is no possibility of logical argument with them as they just seem to completely ignore the science and the facts of the matter."
The lobby group say they would like to see Ireland following the same model as Finland.
"In Finland it is a legal right to have access to broadband," Mr Wallace said.
"Finnish telco companies must be able to deliver a minimum of 10MB to communities, and these telecom companies must also put in the facilities to deliver that," he added.
He said that in Finland, all new, public infrastructure must include plans for fibre, and that fibre must be shared with other telecom companies. This includes 'dark fibre' (when bandwidths can be managed by the private telecom companies themselves). This allows them to provide better speeds to their customers.
But he added that the Dept of Communications here seemed to think that managed services were fine, (when private providers use Eircom's cable infrastructure). With this model private telecom companies have no control over the set bandwidth that they are provided with.
Mr Wallace said that Ireland's National Broadband Plan should deliver fibre to a community and then that community should be able to look at all viable options of getting the bandwidth from the fibre to each and every business and dwelling.
Prisa Consulting is an Irish company with expertise in financial, commercial, procurement and technical projects.
My Purple Chair
The My Purple Chair title was born from my favourite place to sit and think about what's happening in the world. It's old but comfortable. So i suppose it's a bit like myself!