In this chapter we consider from a marketing perspective the political, cultural/social, and economic factors, both micro and macro, affecting the supply/demand nexus of broadband services for the Irish consumer. We chart the development of broadband and its current situation of rollout and uptake, examine the reasons for its continuing poor performance, and offer recommendations on how Ireland may close the gap and perhaps even move ahead. We collated data from a variety of resources, journals and press and trade publications. We attended a ministerial conference on the state of broadband to which many representatives of the telecommunications industry had been invited. We surveyed people with and without the facility, and interviewed key players in the field. We concluded that, although the market is beginning to grow strongly, it is from a low base, and as a result the country still lags behind many of its European counterparts. There is still a lack of competition which is having an adverse effect on both supply and demand of broadband for the Irish domestic consumer. In a small country, the incumbent still holds control of the most profitable areas of the technology, particularly wholesale and selling to other operators. Also, the Irish are still not convinced that broadband is the ‘killer app’ they need. This may change in the future as the technology delivers more of the content-rich multimedia fare that the Irish already enjoy in other formats.
Key Terms in this Chapter
DCMNR: The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, affectionately known as the Department of Fish and Chips.
Forfás: Ireland’s national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology, and innovation.
Industrial Development Agency (IDA): Government agency responsible for attracting foreign investment.
Enterprise Ireland (EI): Government agency responsible for promoting indigenous enterprises.