Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

Irish Broadband failure rate 8000 times higher than NI yet ComReg tells the Govt otherwise

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

ComReg lied lied lied to the Oireachtas when they testified in front of them a few months ago. They told them the failure rate in the Republic was the same as the North. It’s 0.0015% there and 12% here. 8000 times higher. I’m glad something is going to be done about the continuous lies our telecoms regulator is telling.

According to the Sunday Times:

A DAIL committee is to examine whether ComReg, the telecom regulator, provided it with misleading information during an inquiry into Eircom’s broadband infrastructure, writes Mark Tighe.

Last June ComReg told the joint Oireachtas committee on communications, marine and natural resources that broadband failure rates in Northern Ireland “are broadly in line with our experience�. But Eircom’s own statistics show its broadband failure rate of 12% is much higher than the 1% claimed by BT in Northern Ireland.

From the Oireachtas minutes:

Bernard Durkan asked Isolde Goggin:

I draw her attention to line failure in broadband. We were not able to get information on the extent of that line failure because it is supposed to be commercially sensitive. Is ComReg aware of the extent of line failure resulting in an inability to provide broadband services?

Isolde Goggin answered:

We get information from Eircom about the rate of line failure and the time to repair, and issues regarding repeat faults and so on. Our experience of the number of lines connected to a broadband-enabled exchange that will fail the test appears to be in line with that in other countries. The experience in Northern Ireland, for example, bears that out.

In their written submission to the Oireachtas they were asked and answered, under the heading of:
Line failure in broadband enabled exchanges

Q8. Does ComReg collect data on line failure in broadband enabled exchanges?
Yes.

Q9. Is ComReg satisfied or surprised with the amount and/or frequency of failures?

ComReg considers, from international experience, that some level of line failure is inevitable due, for instance, to long lines or the use of carriers. There are also a variety of ways of defining what represents a line failure and we are aware that different companies have differing approaches to the testing of lines. For instance, the current approach adopted by eircom may be overconservative, based on experience in the UK. While comparative data is difficult to obtain, it would appear that faults per 1,000 lines in NI are broadly in line with our experience.

Again I ask and I do so often, why is our regulator misleading the public and the Government?

eircom wireless broadband – “Sssh it’s a secret” says ComReg

Saturday, September 16th, 2006

As well as having DSL broadband, eircom has a licence for wireless broadband and is meant to be supplying it in 80 locations in Ireland. So far ComReg and eircom have failed to educate the public as to where these locations are. IrelandOffline managed to get hold of the list which is at the end of this post. So with a national wireless broadband licence, which eircom have had for four years, you’d think they’d have a good deal of customers on it, right? 5000 customers? 2000? 1000? 500? Nope. 200. It’d be interesting to know how many people are near these locations but are instead paying out a fortune for satellite.

eircom are squatting on this wireless spectrum so nobody else can use it. Despite ComReg and the DCMNR being made aware of this, the regulator has said they are quite happy that eircom are fulfilling their licence obligations. Meanwhile ComReg withdrew Smart’s 3G licence after being told to do so by eircom. Different rules for different companies. I’ve talked to a good few ISPs who would love to use this spectrum but alas none will speak out against ComReg. This spectrum would be great for rural ISPs too. In the end the consumers once again suffer with lack of choice and competition.

If you are in line of sight of these locations (They generally correspond to large red and white masts or towers) then you are meant to be able to get this service. A tower can look like this:
eircom FWA mast

The bad news is that the service is a 512k service down and 64k service up. Rental is around €€54.45 per month and installation is €€732.05. It is still cheaper than two-way satellite broadband that many people have had to resort to.

If you apply to eircom and they tell you the service is not available to you, depsite you residing in an area that’s on the list, then I would be very interested in hearing from you. Contact eircom on 1800 503 303 to try and order this service.

Below is the eircom wireless map that the telecoms poodle had on their site which I found and stuck on the IrelandOffline forum. After finding out IrelandOffline was linking to it, the telecoms poodle deleted the map from their website. We had it saved by then of course. ComReg and eircom are meant to have this map available to the public but for some reason they both don’t want you to know. Here it is:

eircom FWA map

Here are all the locations eircom told the Oireachtas they are serving wireless from:

Athlone
Ballina
Ballinrobe
Ballyguile
Ballyhoura
Ballylane
Ballyspellan
Barnesmore
Beenageeha
Belmullet
Bralee
Bweeng
Campile
Cape Clear
Cappagh
Cappard
Capparoe
Cappataggle
Carrickmacross
Carrigadoon
Castlebar
Castleblaney
Churchfield
City West
Clifden
Coolmine
Crohaun
Cullenagh
Curraross
Dame Court
Drogheda
Dromgold
Drumkeeran
Dundalk
Dungloe
Dunmurry Hill
Edenderry
Falcarragh
Farnaght
Fourknocks
Gallow’s Hill
Glencoum Wood
Glengoole
Glenteige
Harristown
Inchee
Kilbride
Kildorrery
Killorglin
Kilmuckridge
Knock Airport
Knockaneagh
Knockanimpha
Knockanore
Knockgour
Knocknaboul
Lisnabin
Mallow
Mervue
Minnaun
Mongorry Hill
Mount Oriel
Mulmosog
Navan
Nenagh
Portlaoise
Roches Street
Rossmore Bog
Scartbaun
Shanettra
Shelmaliere
Slieve Glah
Slieveboy
Slievemish
Thurles
Tuam
Virginia
Whitechurch
Woodtown
Youghal

And now a word from my sponsors – Episode 5

Friday, September 15th, 2006


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And now a word from my sponsors – Episode 4

Thursday, September 14th, 2006


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Being an Active Citizen – Meetings and consultation

Thursday, September 14th, 2006

Taskforce on Active CitizenshipThe Taskforce on Active Citizenship are now starting their nationwide tour where they’ll be having discussions with people on how to be an active citizen. They started in Dublin today but will also be in the following places:

  • Tuesday 19th September 7p.m. – 9p.m. Monaghan, Four Seasons Hotel
  • Wednesday 20th September 7p.m. – 9p.m. Sligo, Sligo Park Hotel
  • Tuesday 26th September 7p.m. – 9p.m. Galway, Radisson SAS Hotel
  • Thursday 28th September 7p.m. – 9p.m. Cork, Kingsley Hotel
  • Monday 2nd October 7p.m. – 9p.m. Tullamore, Tullamore Court Hotel

Email them on info < at > activecitizen < dot > ie or telephone: o1 6194520 / 4558 / 4330 to book a place. They still have their consultation open until September the 29th.

I mentioned it before but you can fill in their consultation online or email in answers to the questions or even print it off and post it in. The below are the questions that they’re asking:

  1. For you, what does it mean to be an ‘active citizen’?
  2. Do some people feel excluded from active citizenship and why?
  3. Do you feel strongly part of a community – location, parish, sports association, language/cultural group, trade union or corporate interest etc?
  4. Do you believe that with other people in the area where you live you can make a difference to the quality of life of people around you?
  5. How can active citizenship help to include newcomers in a changing Ireland?
  6. From your experience, is there less volunteering and civic engagement than in the past? What do you think are the main reasons for this?
  7. How do you think people could be encouraged and supported to be more active citizens?
  8. How could we further develop a sense of active citizenship amongst young people in Ireland?
  9. What role can education play in promoting active citizenship and how?
  10. What steps do you think can be taken to promote greater participation in elections and other forms of civic engagement?
  11. How do you think older people can be encouraged and supported to participate more actively in community and society?
  12. What role can the media, including the internet and other new technologies, play in promoting active citizenship?
  13. What role can the corporate sector (including public sector organisations) play in promoting active citizenship? How can this be encouraged and supported?
  14. What types of support do communities require to increase levels of participation and involvement?
  15. How can communities be encouraged to identify the unique strengths and skills of their own members and to draw upon them for their own benefit?
  16. How can Government – including Local Government – work more effectively with communities to help them organise effectively?
  17. What are the main challenges in establishing and running a community or voluntary organisation in Ireland today?
  18. Does your organisation, or do organisations in your sector, find it harder to recruit and keep volunteers than in the past? If so, why and how can this trend be reversed?
  19. How can the State support and encourage community and voluntary organisations?

Ryan Jones’ Feedbutton

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Ryan Jones has released FeedButton and I’ve added it to my sidebar. It’s a handy app that allows you to get rid of the clutter of the “add to whatever feedreader” buttons.

And now a word from my sponsors – Episode 3

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006


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Blogger dinner Oct 17th in Cork – Meet Shel and Rick

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Don’t forget to put yourself down for the blogger dinner. Pat Phelan is organising this and is looking for numbers now so don’t forget to sign up.

Fluffy Links Sept 13th 2006

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

New iPod ad:

Oooh Google are rebels for Banned Books Week. Will they have a “banned search results in China” week too?

We all know by now that taking pics of buildings in some major cities gets the police and security people all worked up. Unlike the States, the English are terribly nice about it all.

Lessig at Linux World. Not watched this yet but his presentations using powerpoint are excellent. Less is more.

The Net Democracy Guide. Might be useful to read before the “Blogging the Election” event.

Bonus video for those getting Junior Cert results, this is Ze Frank talking about college degrees:

the show with zefrank

I don’t think it’s just me that awaits the return of United Irelander

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

Not even “The Trowel” McDowell has tempted United Irelander to come back. Damn.