Author Archive

ComReg Report says VDSL not going to happen, kinda suggests ComReg is to blame

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Gowls. (Word of the week in case you wondered.)

So ComReg paid a lot of cash for a report on subloop unbundling in Dublin and it paints a dire picture for the future of broadband in Ireland. The idea of subloop unbundling is that instead of having equipment in an exchange, the equipment is in those tiny cabinets in the estate or in the basement of an apartment complex and VDSL which is like higher speed DSL will then bring you broadband on your copper lines. It’s like bringing fibre closer to the home but not completely there.

From page 6:

The largest costs faced by OAOs in deploying SLU are the charges for line rental, co-location at the street cabinet and the backhaul link to the MDF. In all three cases, it seems unlikely that competition will provide lower prices than those available from eircom. Therefore, the possibility of obtaining a fair price from eircom for these services will be important if OAOs are to be encouraged to deploy SLU.

On balance, therefore, we believe that an OAO can construct a positive business case for SLU in
the Dublin area, but only under the following conditions:
– there are significant reductions in the costs of SLU
– OAOs are optimistic regarding the incremental revenue from SLU over LLU
– OAOs only deploy to large cabinets (over 300 lines), and possibly medium-sized ones
(150–299 lines).

Remember line rental for LLU is 14.67 a month. Ripoff expensive. Then there’s paying to get to those small cabinets and if eircom doesn’t share em, you might have to build your own. Planning permission nightmares.

Sub Loop Pricing

The report tries to be positive but if you read it yourself you’ll see that they’re actually say NOT A CHANCE.

Still on page 6:

Given that the business case for SLU in the Dublin area is challenging, we believe that the business case will be difficult in other areas of Ireland, where the line density per cabinet is likely to be lower and the backhaul costs greater.

And from page 7, it’s like a list of things that will never ever happen:


Our study shows that OAOs can construct a commercially attractive business case for SLU under certain conditions. To ensure that they would be able to implement this in the future, it is important that any potential future VDSL roll-out by eircom does not have a significantly detrimental impact on competition, and we have the following recommendations:

  • Given ComReg’s responsibility to promote competition, it should now be considering how best to remove potential barriers (including supporting processes) to a successful deployment of SLU.
  • The component prices for SLU should be reviewed, both in absolute terms and relative to LLU.
  • It will be important for there to be a flexible and competitively priced wholesale bitstream product in addition to SLU.
  • Though eircom is planning to offer unbundlers adjacent co-location at its street cabinets, it will be important for OAOs to have access to eircom’s cabinets, since the installation of duplicate cabinets is likely to be uneconomic and/or suffer from other constraints such as local planning. ComReg should consider ensuring that eircom offers co-location space in its street cabinets. Further work should be carried out to establish the magnitude of the cost to eircom of deploying cabinets large enough to accommodate unbundlers’ equipment.
  • It will be important for OAOs to have access to an affordable, fibre-based, backhaul product from eircom as it would uneconomical in most cases for OAOs to replicate this infrastructure. Options for such a product include duct access, dark fibre or Ethernet products.

Heath Ledger, Bacon numbers and Fred Phelps

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Via Rick is news that Fred Phelps and his merry band of churchgoers have said they’re going to protest at Heath Ledger’s funeral. If it’s in Oz they’ll probably be treated to local Oz hospitality. Anyways. Ever notice how the Westboro Baptist troop are almost as good as Greenpeace when it comes to latching on to things in the public eye and getting their names attached. Greenpeace are constantly making a fuss about Apple products and Phelps protests any funeral that is linked in even the weakest ways to homosexuality.

I’m reminded of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. Associate Kevin Bacon with anyone in Hollywood in as few moves as possible.

So Heath Ledger was in Brokeback Mountain and he had sex with a bloke. Protest his funeral.
There are gays in America, therefore when American soldiers die in Iraq, God is punishing them. Protest their funeral.
Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was gay. Protest his funeral.
That Tsunami killed Swedes, press release that they deserved it for liberal attitudes.

So now, let’s play the game with other figures, reasons why they should have protested these funerals:
Mother Theresa
Pople John Paul II
Freddy Mercury nevermind.
Katy French

The Bad Ambassador replies.

● Fluffy Links – Thursday January 24th 2008

Thursday, January 24th, 2008


Boobies, breasts, hooters, titties, baps and all the rest. Sabrina has a new campaign site called Two Tits and a Vote. Nope, it’s not Bertie v Enda all over again. Blurb:

Two Tits and a Vote is an opportunity for women to leverage their political power, lobby for change across critical issues in Ireland, and make sure our voices are hear

Play Twenty’s game. Read all the comments. That’s creativity!

TechLudd (they’re riding on the fame of the crap name) has reached 90 registrations. Biggest tech networking event outside of a conference thus far? Ooops, it’s now gone 2.0 on us. Woo!

Win an iPod Touch from Segala. By calling them names or something. 🙂

Via James. Collaborative map of free Wifi hotspots in Ireland.

Free business docs from Cork Open Coffee.

Baby Cheeses. Oh my.

So it seems a traffic stop and if you have your iPhone, will mean police can check your web history? That can’t happen here, right?

For the moleskin users out there.

WordPress just got a truckload of money. NYTimes is now an investor!

What privacy?

House of fun:

My Girl:

Liam, you’re a fucking gowl

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

As they say on the People’s Repubic of Cork forums. Alright lads! Seems someone that got their account almost hacked, Googled the IP that tried it on, it showed a blog post of mine where I talk about searches that IP did on my blog and so Liam is suggesting I’m hacking his account. As fake Roy keane’s brother on Gift Grub says, ya gowl ya. Scary that some people on PROC know who I am and think I’d never hack Liam’s account. Thanks for sticking up for me.

Michael Lynn Tapes: Newstalk fails to give attribution to bloggers

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

But is happy to let John Waters rant about bloggers and their lack of fact-checking. So Suzy, being the single source for the Michael Lynn Tapes has a right to be miffed. As I understand it, Newstalk were given access to the tapes but were afraid to use em but now that Rick O’Shea has used them (and gave attribution!) and papers have referenced them (without attribution) Newstalk too are playing them. I do wonder though who’ll get the royalties for these songs? The banks? A bank account in Brazil? Newstalk should thank Suzy in the morning and spell out her website address.

Edit: Clarified the point that Rick did the decent thing, as he always does!

Twitter – another room with another mix of people

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

So what is Twitter? It’s a way of describing your current situation in 140 characters or less. That’s the basic premise really but it’s also a way of responding to the updates/descriptions from other people. It’s a tool for conversing with people, again in 140 character limits. Very recently I started cutting back on my usage of it and who I follow as it was getting too noisy for me and logging in to it every morning and reading through 20 pages of status updates was too much. This is solved easily by just turning down the noise via removing people you sub to. Yes, you might miss something but it’s great for the brain.

I like Twitter for a few reasons. It’s not a blog but it has a format like a blog. Fire in a few words and send it out to the world. Handy way of updating yout friends. People can subscribe to you and you can see who they are, mostly. You can see who replies to you, even if you are not subbed to them. Jaiku used to be the alternative and a competitor but now that Google pretty much killed that off, Twitter is doing very well. I actually think the lack of functions for it are a good thing. Scarcity breeds ingenuity and Jaiku was just turning into yet another mailing list/discussion forum. Some clever stuff being done on Twitter but I think the cleverist stuff is still what gets said in 140 characters.

Look at the news feed on Facebook. A very easy way of getting updates on friends. It started years back on MSN when people used their sign-in names to add more information, from fav lyrics to what song they were listening to to their moods. GMail chat/GTalk allows you to do the same too. Twitter fits into that niche as well as the niche where you IM your friends or email them with quick quotes or “haha, check this out, this is funny” or “Did you hear about this? … blah blah blah”. It allows you to get information out into a public space without having a blog or website of your own, sign up and shout it out. No comments, no upgrading, no feeling you have to respond to comments. No having to tackle spam. It’s just another way to communicate and to listen.

Twitter reached a tipping point for me of late and it happened when I started to add non-Irish people and people that I didn’t really know or interact with much. I started by adding people I know via their blog and this gave me more insight into their daily and minutely utterings and then it was good to see who they interacted with. As I immersed myself by going deeper out into the Twitter ocean, other names started becoming familiar to me and I started adding them too. It was a bit random but fun, finding new people and seeing what they were saying and linking to and over time I would unsubscribe from them or leave them on a list. It felt like the good old days when I found new exciting blogs with viewpoints that were left field for me. The mysterioulsy attraction to the unexpected and the random. Sometimes I unsub people on Twitter because they have the same viewpoint and read and share the same information as me. I’ve got me to hear me. That was to echoey for me, so bye they went. Others talked about too much of one boring topic that when they did send out gems there was too much noise to appreciate it. It’s very pot luck I suppose but you do have to reach a number and distribution of people before the service becomes valuable.

By the way, JP Rangaswami has some great blog posts about Twitter in the enterprise that are worth reading fully. So in the end Twitter for me is about the people. Lots of interesting voices there and I have in effect my personal volume switch which is great. There are so many other ways of interacting with people though, Twitter is just another room at another event but you can mute others in that room. The rules of the room might not suit everyone but for me, they do and it’s fun. I’m damienmulley on Twitter.

● Fluffy Links – Wednesday January 23rd 2008

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008


Still looking for Blog Awards judges. If you already emailed, yes I got the email.

By linking to Martha, she can avail of a fluffy badge.

Speaking of which. Josie shows her badge

Yeah. What Sir Bockiston said.

David Simon (The Wire) writes about news and newspapers.

Average broadband speeds. *Gets depressed*

Wii Mii chocolates. Yes, eat the chocolate representation of your Wii character.

No more LOL. They mean it.

Black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged, lesbian lorry drivers.

Trent Reznor did not want an ISP tax. Idiots.

Via Unbearably Light – L Word Charlies Angels:

Blogging Week 2008 – Cork dinner March 2nd

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Righto. WebCamp/BlogTalk is happening in Cork from March 2nd to March 4th. For those able to recover from the Irish Blog Awards, who wants to do a dinner on the Sunday night in Cork and meet Salim amongst other people? We can have yet another (TechCludd is the first) Paddy’s Valley reunion.

The Fanny Waters show on Newstalk tomorrow

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

More Edits: Fergal’s take.

MP3 of the performance.

Edit2: An mp3 of this should become available soon. Word reaches us that Fanny Waters had to be carried from Newstalk he got such a pounding. I insist you listen to the mp3 when it does appear, Fergal was beyond impressive.

Edit: Best of luck to Fergal (a tenner if he tears up a pic of the pope just as he starts.)

Fanny Waters summoned a blogger to come into his radio presence and answer for all the sins of the bloggers and tomorrow morning at 0830 on Newstalk, he’ll get his demands met. Newstalk are already billing it as Waters versus the bloggers. No tabloidism there, eh Newstalk? No pressure on the person who has to answer for all our sins either. Sarah is right, John needs new material and a new enemy. And he’s getting it. Eurovisions and ice-skating didn’t feed his craving for attention. Blogs would be great. There’s loads of them now. An ocean of material. The troll is being given what he wants. If John really wanted to engage in a debate then he would let a blogger write a rebuttal in his column, wouldn’t he?

The best way of giving credibility to a raving nutter is to not let him stand on a soapbox on his own, but put him on a panel with another person. Never argue with a fool… So tune in tomorrow. And no, I am not feeding the troll because John doesn’t do the Internet, now does he?

Is there life left in the old Yahoo! dog?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Salim showed us around Yahoo! Brickhouse and also Yahoo!’s HQ in Sunnyvale (We couldn’t find Buffy anywhere) during Paddy’s Valley and the overall impression I got and I think others got too was that Yahoo! is a people company. They like people more and seem to understand them more than their competitors. When you think of Google, you think of them trying to remove people from every process and replacing them with an algorithm but with Yahoo! they seem to acquire companies and let them be, let them work the way they always work and help them where they can. Delicious and Flickr are fine examples. Owned by Yahoo! though we never really are forced to acknowledge this.

There’s been a lot of change in Yahoo! in the past few months with Jerry Yang coming back in and changing things around and a lot of dead wood has been removed. John Furrier thinks something is big on the way and Techcrunch reported that there could be a cull of 20% on the way. Google however is still giving us the best search experience around and their ad system (which I think is getting worse, not better) is still the best out there. According to the FT blog, the ad revenue generated from Google last quarter was more than Yahoo!, AOL and Microsoft‘s ad revenue combined yet Yahoo! properties get more traffic.

Yahoo! to me is the warmer, more friendly, tech company compared to Microsoft and much warmer than the entirely sterile Google. It would make sense to me for Yahoo! to work on all their sites and services that are very people centric. Yahoo! Answers shows how good they can be. There seems to be talk coming out of Yahoo! about them opening up their services. It would be great to see APIs for everything they have and allow people to create clever Mashups and of course give them an option of selling ads on these new services or if these services charge then have Yahoo! work as the merchant for the transactions. John Furrier also thinks they should join Open Social. They should be doing something on the social side and not letting Facebook et al get all the attention. Of all companies and with their mixed bag of offerings, they could do very well on the social side, either by opening up all their services so any social network can tie into them or create a platform for all their services. It seems odd that they are not there yet.

I have a fondness for Yahoo! as when I started surfing the net, they were the kings and it would be nice to see them make some kind of comeback while making the web better for me to traverse. There needs to be competition in the search space and in the ad space, maybe Yahoo! can get things sorted and compete in there.