A lack of access to high-speed broadband services is hampering Ireland's economic recovery, it has been suggested.
Writing for Irish Central, business commentator Daniel O'Carroll said the poor quality broadband coverage across the Emerald Isle is "simply astonishing".
He explained that the main broadband providers have thus far proved unable to bring anything other than dial-up technology to large areas of the Irish countryside.
"Despite Ireland's best endeavours to kick itself out of recession... if it doesn't put effort into ensuring that it has an adequate and nationwide broadband network, things aren't going to get very far," Mr O'Carroll said.
"In the year 2010, the internet is as valuable a commodity as they come."
He suggested that a company operating in County Cork could probably trade more effectively without running water than the internet.
Last month, Ofcom found that 70 per cent of households in Northern Ireland have now signed up for high-speed internet access.