Thursday, 19 October 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
63. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the discussions she has had at EU level concerning fair competition between the Eircom copper wire network and the fibre optic cable television network here to the provision of telephony, internet and television services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22838/00]
Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): I assume the Deputy is referring to the question of delivering television services over telecommunications networks such as Eircom's copper network. The Director of Telecommunications Regulation is, at present, carrying out a public consultation on whether this is appropriate, or even possible, in the context of the development of new technologies known as xDSL. In the circumstances, in would not be appropriate for me to comment on this specific issue.
On a more general note, it is an objective of the European Communities policy relating to electronic communications that there should be fair competition between all available platforms and in the provision of services over those platforms. The European Commission has published a package of proposals setting out a new regulatory framework for the electronic communications sector which encompasses this objective.
Discussions on these proposals have begun within the Council and the European Parliament and officials from my Department are fully engaged in these discussions at council working party level. I will, of course, be making my views known at the Council of Telecommunications Ministers when the various directives that comprise the proposed framework come up for discussion.
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