No, I'm paying Eircom because I have an active phone line. I do not have any phone service running on that line. The only service that will be provided is Magnet Broadband. I have looked at Vodaphones home broadband products and they're inclusive of the line rental charge to Eircom. It just happens that Vodaphone/Magnet are the ones transferring the payment to Eircom.
It's Ireland, so I don't know how much competition there is in that country,
Eircom is a monopoly here, in that it has control over the exchanges (it's control over exchanges is being taken away, but its still relied upon for networking engineering works). I'm currently waiting on Eircom to hand over control of my phone line to another broadband provider, so that I can have decent access to the interent. However, even with my new operator, I'm still paying Eircom line rental charges of €25.36 per month. This represents the biggest failure of our communications regulator in that they failed to properly remove control of the network from Eircom. What the regulator should have done is taken a look at our Electricity market, the incumbent ESB has been split into ESB Networks and ESB Customer Care. This allows us to choose any Electricity provider while retaining a neutral network operator. Eircom should have been split up the same way. Instead we're left with a pseudo deregulated telecoms market and network infrastructure that has no incentive to be upgraded.
You mean a "PC"?
What are you talking about? Seriously? What crumbling infrastructure? For a country of 5million, we have a very good infrastructure. Are you aware of our new road networks? (yes i'm aware a lot of new motorways wont be finished until 2010), but our current roads are MUCH better than the 80s or 90s. CIE is undergoing radical transformations, same for bus-eireann. We've built many new and upgraded countless other hospitals, transport stations, public areas, town-centers and other facilities.
Oh and dont forget that we've done all this during a time of war (northern ireland), which has costed the state a lot of taxpayers money. Sure low corporate tax has helped us draw in foreign investment. We needed this because there was no employment before the 90s. Nowadays anybody can find work (probably not in finance atm, but that's their fault for overextending themselves.), including the many immigrants. The real underlying cause to our recent success has been the quality of our education system during the 90s.
Your backwards religious theocracy statement is complete rubbish too. Religious organisations have had minimal input into recent governmental decisions these days.
Administration: An ingenious abstraction in politics, designed to receive the kicks and cuffs due to the premier or president. -- Ambrose Bierce