Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

How much the Oireachtas spends on giving home broadband to TDs/Senators

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

A short while ago the Sunday Times had a story about TDs and Senators not able to get broadband despite wanting to get it. The story covered those who were annoyed at not being able to get it or those who never applied because they knew they were in an area that did not have broadband. ComReg, Dempsey and the other excuse-searchers are now saying lack of demand is the main issue with broadband. People simply don’t want it. Pure bullshit given that so many in the Oireachtas applied for broadband and they wouldn’t be the most astute with technology. The Times story never covered the costs for this project.

A quick summary:
€20,130 installation costs and no modem with this.
€13,000 for project management and install support costs.
Total Project cost: €33,000 ex vat

€65,880 per year for the broadband service itself plus €17,694 for tech support.
Recurring costs: €83,574 a year for the service

Full FOI request below:

Dear Mr Mulley

I refer to your recent request under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003, seeking access to records pertaining to the tender issued by the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Office’) for the supply of broadband services in the homes or Constituency Offices of Members of the Oireachtas.

In relation to your request, please note the following:

1. Names of the successful bidder/bidders:


2. Details of the tender itself, including the technology used in the provision of broadband:

The solution proposed by eircom (and subsequently accepted by the Office) was the eircom Business Starter broadband service, delivered over standard DSL, using eircom’s existing copper lines. This service provided 2Mbit/s download (later upgraded to 3MBit/s), and 128 kbit/s, thereby meeting the minimum upload requirement, and exceeding the minimum download requirement as set out in the Office’s request for tender (RFT). The contention ratio for this fixed line DSL is 24:1, with service presentation via RJ45 (as required in the RFT), with fixed IP addresses assigned to each site.

The Office did not avail of the Netopia routers offered by eircom, opting instead for a secure router, firewall and switch configuration (supplied by Siemens Business Services under a separate competitive tender process).

3. Details of the project plan

A formal project plan was not devised, although broadband via DSL was provided in a timely manner at sites identified by the Members (i.e. either at their homes or Constituency Offices) on a geographical basis (serviced by local eircom engineers), and also based on the availability of the Members/their staff to provide access to the site. Of the 152 Members requesting DSL/broadband, 122 qualified for DSL, and 30 failed line tests. However, as more exchanges are DSL-enabled, the number of Members provided with DSL/broadband has been increasing over the past number of months.

4. Breakdown of the technology used to supply each Member of the Oireachtas:

Broadband is only provided to Members via DSL (over existing copper lines). Where DSL is not available, the Members may have a PSTN or ISDN connection.

5. Breakdown of the costs – set-up/ongoing:

Set-up costs were €165* per site, plus €13,000* (for the entire project) for dedicated implementation tech support (€5,000*) and project management (€8,000*).

Ongoing costs are €45* per month per site, plus €17,694* for Year 1 Maintenance and Support, and €17,694* for Year 2 Maintenance and Support.

* Note: all costs quoted are exclusive of VAT

Advertising on – 500 quid for a blog post

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

I’ve been approached a few times now for writing about certain products or running ads on this website. I’ve turned them all down. I don’t need any cash and I feel that Google Ads and all those annoying sneaky text link ads do nothing but piss people off. They piss me off anyway. Still, I’m a nice guy so I’ve put together a policy where I will allow a kind of advertisment on this site.

This is my advertising policy which I shall republish here:

You want to advertise on here? I don’t do ads on my site. No fugly Google Adsense ads. No ads in my RSS feeds. This is still my personal and non-commercial site. If you want to help out then link to the site or subscribe to the site.

There are two methods of getting your product or service mentioned on this site though:

1. Email me about your product/service and tell me why I should blog about it. For this you really have to sell it hard and have to know my blog well and know your product would fit into the areas I blog about. If it actually interests me (even I can’t tell a lot of the time) then I’ll blog about it. There’s a big chance I won’t blog about it so don’t take it personally.

2. The other method is like the above but you pay me 500 euros (a euro for roughly each daily visitor) and again if I think it is worthy I’ll blog about your product but with the stipulation that I can equally praise or thrash what you want to sell and I’ll be soliciting feedback from my readers too.

Oh and being a lover of transparency the blog title will be “500 euros blog post: Product name.� Again, there’s a low chance of me agreeing to pimp your product this way. You only get one blog post too and there is no set time limit when it appears as the top post. I’m not into pageviews, click-thru rates or any of that stuff so don’t ask about them. Think of me as a sandal-wearing hippy where on clear non-stoned days I might agree to mention your product.

Shel Israel on Irish Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Shel Israel has written part one on his take on Ireland and Irish Entrepreneurs. I had a decent enough chat with him the day of the June IT@Cork Conference and he gave me a brief overview of the history of Silicon Valley and VCs. It was really interesting to see how all of it started and how Ireland has an environment like that, though not fully like the states.

Meanwhile the Edge Embossing blog gives a pros and cons of going it alone when starting a business.

Father’s day

Sunday, June 18th, 2006


by Fenway Parker

ROSES are red
So is Pop’s nose
He’s asleep on the couch
wearing Mom’s clothes

The fluff is back – links for 17th June 2006

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Matt Stone’s memo to the MPAA about the South Park Movie. Hilarious.

What’s a god helmet? Science invents a new way to trip using magnets. I just love the following line, though it hasn’t much to do with the core bit of the article:

this is the great British sport of “moron baiting”

10 booming cities for Tech in the US. Where are the areas in Ireland, outside of Dublin?

Great footballing blunders.

Daragh McGrath is doing a cool thing for charity. He’s building homes for those that can’t afford them. He’s looking for help.

Is it the best goal only because there hasn’t been great football so far?

UCC gives blogs to all students

Friday, June 16th, 2006

UCC Student’s Union Communications Officer Kris Mcelhinney left a comment on my blog recently and mentioned that UCC now has blogs for any student that wants one. The new student email system has a blog option so that when you log in to your mail you can enable your blog.

With something like 15,000 students, that’s a potentially very large influx come October to the Irish Blog O’Sphere. Can and handle it?

University College Cork (University of the year again) has a strong tradition of web innovation. It was the first Irish College to have a website, which was also 9th in the world and also as I mentioned before UCC Interactive TV has audio and video podcasts of lectures and special events.

I asked Kris would there be any censorship of these blogs if they are critical of UCC or any faculties, he responded:

just as a student must follow rules with regard the sending emails from their student account it is expected that they will follow the same rules of good practise in their use of these new facilities.

I’d love to see every university encourage blogging and even give classes on it. It’s a very good way of learning how to communicate and improve your writing skills and with universities meant to be hotbeds of research and new thinking it might be a great way of sharing knowledge with a worldwide audience.

Should Cork people be insulted?

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Billboard: Saying “like” makes you sound dumb. Or maybe Ross O’Caroll-Kelly and his peeps who say “loike”,

and he’s back

Thursday, June 15th, 2006

Nuff said.

Off to Paris I go…

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Back Thursday. Won’t be blogging while away despite broadband being available in the hotel.

Fluffy Overload – June 11th 2006

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

New blog on the block called Staróga and another resurrected called It’s a Big Shopping Centre, Haigh.

Colm wants us to yawn. I didn’t.

Phil is back writing words. Though there’s plenty of fine photos in between some text too!

Gavin Mullan was nominated for a Photobloggie. Well done fella!

Come back Steven.

A swing that laughs and laughs more and more as you go higher in the swing. Reminds me of this from some mopey git that liked Sligo:

unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress

Cute overload time. Kitty Vs Frontrow. Via Tom Coates.

Joe’s Goals Handy getting things done app.

Someone in the MS ad agency has a clue. Clever ad appealing to the Battlestar Galactica geeks.

Deadwood is coming back tonight. Last fucking season though. The Salon review rocks.