The network outage that affected thousands of Eircom customers last week has been branded as ‘unacceptable’ by European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy, who suggested such failures could threaten Ireland’s international reputation.
The junior minister said service failures like that experienced by customers last Wednesday were not good enough in an increasingly connected world, and called on Eircom to invest in their network to prevent reoccurrences.
Commenting on the wide-scale outage which the company said affected 5% of its total network traffic, Mr Murphy said reliable networks are one of the key components of the country’s reputation as a global technology hub which has brought thousands of jobs to these shores.
“It is unacceptable in the digital age that thousands of businesses and residential customers, from Cork to Dublin, should suddenly lose landline, internet and mobile phone connectivity, especially for a prolonged period of a number of hours, due to a network crash,” Mr Murphy said.
“Indigenous small businesses need reliable telecoms connectivity to sell their e-commerce services in European and global markets while Ireland’s reputation as a favourite digital hub in Europe for high employment US technology companies is dependent upon fast, reliable voice and data connectivity.”
Mr Murphy, who was at University College Cork to launch a Masters in Digital Business Course developed by the college and the Irish Management Institute, urged telecom providers to undertake network audits to test the capability of the volume capabilities of their network.
“Alternative contingency plans need to be implemented,” he said.
“I would also encourage Ireland’s telecoms operators to keep their customers informed and updated about the exact nature of any network faults as they occur and communicate a timeline for the resumption of full services to users as swiftly as possible.”
Yesterday’s comments echo views Mr Murphy expressed earlier this year after a network outage affected up to 1.5m Three Ireland customers.
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