Written Answers. - Telecommunications Services.

Róisín Shortall

Question:

79 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources his views on possible trials of the ENUM telecoms protocol here; and if he will make a statement on his area of responsibility on the matter. [10823/03]

As part of the ongoing convergence of different telecommunication networks such as public telephone networks and the Internet a concept known as ENUM has been developed. The concept behind ENUM allows telecommunications users, be they private or business users, to create a table containing a list of all their contact details using different technologies i.e. fixed landline, mobile, fax, voice over IP, Internet, etc. The availability of such a table would allow any telecommunications user in the world to look up the contact information of the person they want to contact and to choose the most cost effective way of contacting them. This technology will facilitate increased competition between operators and help to reduce telecommunications costs.

My Department is currently in discussion with the International Telecommunications Union to arrange for the necessary protocols to be put in place to enable the carrying out of ENUM trials in Ireland. Once these discussions are complete I expect to be in a position to facilitate trials.