apologies if I was wrong on that point- listened to a lot of rants from a nerd friend of mine who was adamant that we had one of the leading telecoms infrastructures in the world before privatisation and that there is now no investment.
A secure home base seems to have helped ESB expand overseas- haven't they been involved in powerstation projects abroad?
Following the criticisms of that report the IDA lobbied government to improve the networks, in order to aid SME's create jobs with a world class telecommunications network. The lobbying paid off and by 1987 the network was completely modernised from analogue to digital technology. Only one year later, Telecom Eireann went into profit for the first ever time. By 1999 when it was privatised, TE became highly profitable, debt free, and in control of one of Europes best telecommunications networks. According to the research of Dassler, Parker and Saal, between 1978 and 1998, telecommunications performance, productivity and efficiency in Ireland surpassed every single European country in that timeperiod.
It was private companies that underinvested since 1999 and asset stripped Eircom for a quick buck.
In short, privatisation does not work.