The National Broadband Tender – Designed to make sure you can’t get broadband

IrelandOffline press release on National Broadband Tender.

The gist is this: Dempsey announced today, 3 weeks before an election that he was the Jesus Christ of broadband. The saviour for all the broadband sins of Ireland. Lots of talk of everyone now getting broadband.

The tender says that all areas not covered by eircom and the various wireless companies out there will be covered by the tender. Where do they cover?

This is the godawful map:
Broadband Tender Map

How did they make the map?
Well the DCMNR asked the wireless companies for their coverage areas and it seems many were quite liberal with their coverage. Example: Permanet said they covered the whole of county Wexford and so now Wexford will not be covered by the tender according to the 18MB 1 page PDF the DCMNR issues today. Yes, irony that you need fibre to the home to download the damned map. But see, the major issue is that despite Permanet saying they can cover the whole of Wexford, not everyone in Wexford will get their signal. Coverage is once again, the old eircom definition, which means it is not the same as getting a signal. So no signal because of trees, or buildings or interference or blackspots? Tough. Look at Donegal too, a broadband paradise according to the DCMNR!

Also, many people even in an area where eircom “provide” broadband, still cannot get broadband because of split lines and poor quality lines. It is not just about distance from the exchange. This tender excludes these people. If the exchange is already enabled then it is tough for you too. Unless you are 4.5km from that exchange, any nearer and again, no deal.

Additionally, the tender does not cover areas where eircom recently said they will enable. eircom are still not offering a timeline on this so right now they hold a monopoly on these areas. That’s about half the country, geographically speaking, from what I can see. We’re in week 1 of an election and so far no political parties have pointed out all these flaws. Jesus people!

Then there’s the case of WestNet who do offer a service in but are not on the map so according to the tender, the tender winner will be subsidised by the taxpayer to go in and compete with them.

This is the real coverage map (excluding wireless companies). With every single exchange in the country enabled, (only half are) this is what the map would look like yet the DCMNR seems to have a different take on this.

Here’s an interactive Google Map with 4.5km radius

12 Responses to “The National Broadband Tender – Designed to make sure you can’t get broadband”

  1. sinead says:

    Hello there,
    Has there been any development in this at all? I and a lot of other are in Kerry and covered “” by Permanent – a lot of us are still not covered. I understand the catch that the ASP’s are in – providing connectivity in rural areas will not make much $, is time consuming and they are not getting enough $$ from gov on this one… Perhaps, the gov should be providing an insentive to the ASP’s out there to provide 100% coverage in the areas they supposedly cover??

  2. Barry says:

    Ditto for West Cork. I made an application to Permanet, within a day I had a lady on the phone saying ‘they had a cancellation’ and would do my installation ‘next week’ but then when she discovered I live on an island she said she’d get the installer to contact me…. He did, and more or less said, oh bugger, your installation would take too long and we’re only subcontractors, and Permanet is ‘required’ by the Govt to subsidise the installation and, and…… since then, silence.

    If BB is to work in ‘remote’ areas then all exchanges need to be enabled, and multiplexed lines de-muxed, and full LLU to enable comeptition. Some chance.

    OTOH, this island and others around here have satellite based 1Mb BB for the schools. Used 2x a week and only in school terms. No sharing possible, the network is ‘private’ (according to the Dept of Ed). It is funded 100% by the taxpayer…..

    Bye, Barry

  3. […] Yeah your National Broadband Tender is a farce. Encourage the progressive shift to IP based Next Generation Networks. […]

  4. Luke says:

    Cool maps very handy, thanks Damien. Is there any plans to do a nice map showing where UPC (ntl/chorus) have cable broadband coverage, there coverage doesn’t seem to be as widespread as it should be and there website is painful to check for coverage in different towns.

    Also would love to see include something like this, for me broadband is essential and when looking for a house to lease, rent or buy knowing what broadband is available is very important.

  5. al says:

    is the permanet broadband system any good if you in range of their base station?

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  7. […] Galway. I’m sure that makes the public and industry really happy. Maybe that’s why the maps for the national broadband scheme are a heap of shit? It also shows a fantastic level of arrogance too in regards to ignoring […]

  8. […] Galway. I’m sure that makes the public and industry really happy. Maybe that’s why the maps for the national broadband scheme are a heap of shit? It also shows a fantastic level of arrogance too in regards to ignoring […]

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  10. john cannon says:


  11. Ger Downey says:

    looking at the updated list of providers on the Dept website, they list a provider called Real Broadband in Tralee who seem to have a licence to operate yet they are not even providing broadband as of 13/6/08. I called their office and was told by a women that they were looking to be up and running by the end of the year. How can a provider who does not have any present coverage be allowed to get inclusion on the broadband map.

    This broadband scheme stinks

  12. Marianne says:

    No chance for my corner of Inishowen, as far as I can see, until Ryanair launches pig-powered flights.

    A few towns are enabled but since my nearest exchange is in a village which is little more than a crossroads, I don’t hold out any hope. Satellite is unaffordable and mobile signal is unavailable.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just run a few cables over the border?

    Incidentally, why CAN’T we just run a few cables over the border?