Within section 140 of the Bill there are definitions which may imply that any device capable of playing content produced for television might be subject to a television licence fee. The current cost of a television licence in Ireland is EUR160.00. A company with 15 employees using the latest technology could be looking at an annual charge between EUR2400.00 and EUR4800.00.
However the Bill also defines "broadcasting service", excluding "a service provided for viewing in a non-linear manner where each viewer chooses a programme from a catalogue of programmes, or other audio and audiovisual services provided by way of the Internet" The IIA is concerned about the lack of clarity created by these two opposing definitions. The IIA calls on the Minister Eamon Ryan to amend the legislation in order to clarify his intentions for internet users accessing audiovisual content via the internet in Ireland.
2008 saw the number of users of broadband in Ireland pass the one million mark. The IIA hopes that this growth will continue in order to allow businesses across the country to access the great cost savings that doing business online offers. The IIA fears that even a lack of clarity on this issue could cause a reduction in this uptake among both business users and consumers.
The National Broadband Scheme will deliver broadband to those areas of the country currently unserved. Following 3’s appointment as Preferred Tenderer today, work will be finalised on the contract in the coming weeks, with a final announcement expected upon completion of the contract matters next month.
Commenting on the appointment, Minister Ryan said: "I am delighted to announce that I have appointed 3 as the Preferred Tenderer for the National Broadband Scheme (NBS). It is imperative that we have universal broadband coverage in Ireland, for foreign investment, for competitiveness and for our own businesses and householders.
Broadband availability will be central to our economic recovery."