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The Irish Minister of State has welcomed the announcement by internet service provider Eircom that it has enabled the broadband exchange in Kildysart in County Clare.

Tony Killeen said the latest development comes as part of Eircom's public commitment to broadband-enable hundreds of telephone exchanges across Ireland.

He noted that the internet service provider has already brought DSL broadband services to O'Briensbridge, Rockmount, Bridgetown, Cooraclare, Doonbeg, Whitegate, Kilfenora, Clarecastle, Ballyalla, Feakle and Bunratty this month.

Minister of State Killeen noted that broadband coverage "greatly improved" in rural County Clare last year, helping to get more businesses and consumers online.

He added: "The entrance into the telecommunications market of new wireless broadband providers coupled with the continued rollout of mobile broadband and DSL services will help to increase the overall number of domestic and business subscribers.

"With universal broadband in Ireland, we will be able to concentrate on increasing speeds and reducing costs."

Earlier this week, the Irish Times reported that Eircom had agreed to lower the fees it charges rival broadband providers to use its internet infrastructure.

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