Archive for April, 2005

Broadband in the Boggersphere

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

I’ve noticed a few postings in the about broadband. Maura is talking about the Group Broadband Scheme in Galway and Liam is talking about the Upperchurch-Drombane GBS. Applications have to be in very soon for this.

According to our own research in IrelandOffline, some 48% of the population still can’t get Broadband. Ireland has a lot of work to do if it wants

Edit: A recent Accenture report saif we were slipping down the rankings for E-Government initiatives.

Here are that I posted on Slugger O’Toole last week:

” It is that bad in the Republic and it will soon become a factor for large companies coming in. Consumers right now are the ones suffering the most but the more big business relies on telecoms the more Ireland will be less attractive despite the low corporate tax.

It can be argued that with the cost of leased lines in Ireland being so high even for cities *, companies that want proper high speed net connectivity (and we’re not talking adsl) will look at NI, EU countries or further away. It can also be argued because of the cost units being in 5km chunks, rural communities will not have a chance of getting business unless they are on a fibre ring. Ebay refusing to set up anywhere but Dublin is a good example of this.

EBay setting up in Dublin means though that they either have to pay larger wages to keep good staff or pay poor wages which will mean a churn rate for staff. Setting up in a rural location would have been better as it seems the best call centres are those not in the main cities in Ireland where the cost of living is cheaper facilitating a smaller churn rate.

Think about teleworking, more and more companies encourage this and it saves them money by having people working from home. But they can only telework from locations that have broadband. DSL is only available in towns of 1500 population or more. (according to eircom) That’s only 58% of the population though. (according to the CSO) So again large business is restricted to where they can set up.

But with 70%-80% of that 58% pass the line test, it means between 41%-46% of the population could actually work from home. This restricts companies to locations which have adsl or else forces them to install leased lines which cost a fortune. The Govt saying broadband is available everywhere is bollox and a major disservice to the 1000s of people who want broadband and are being turned down. There are 140k broadband connections in Ireland. 130k of them are adsl lines. 10K non adsl and most of them are in the main urban centres anyway. I would think 1500 people or less in rural locations have broadband through various community schemes.

Now if a company pays for teleworking the line rental being the highest in the EU** will add even more to a companies costs compared to other places in the EU.

However if we compare to Northern Ireland where there’s 100% availability (as of Feb 2005), teleworking is an easy option and line rental is cheaper. Leased line prices are cheaper too according to the graphs in the pdf doc below.

One other thing about the wireless network in Cork and it being a European first. It covers the immediate city centre, not the city. It’s free now but will cost something like €10 an hour when they do start charging. Northern Ireland will have 100% geographic coverage by Dec 2005 via a wireless network. That’s far more impressive.


* The price comparisons are taken from an EU doc which you can get there:

Details on page 41-43

They show the current leased line prices in Ireland for Partial Private Circuits (the bits going to the customer to their isp backbone ) The prices are measured in kms. For a business operating in a rural location distance from their ISP’s backbone means really high costs.

Irish Line Rental Highest in the EU

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

Waaaaaaaaaaaaay higher.

Aoife and I

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005


Less rhetoric in this post.

Where’s our EFF ?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

All the hoopla today in the news is about IRMA sending in the legal heavies against 17 irish people. I wish we had an up and running version of EFF here in Ireland so it could help set the facts straight by pointing out things like this study showing filesharing doesn’t damage music sales or point to the fact that other types of media are in decline such as Music, Television, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines and Books while Movies, Videogames and the Web are being viewed more.

This EFF style group would have been essential to combat Herr Flick sneaking in the data retention law.

If we had this EFF group they could have also come out strong against the Software Patents Fiasco and countered the Microsoft Sponsored FUD on Open Source which has ended up with the Irish Software Association trying to dig itself out of a hole. It’s shameful too that our E-Minister cannot see beyond MicroSoft’s lobbying.

Lastly as we in the BoggerSphere become more read and listened to, the more we will need our own BoggerEFF to help protect our digital rights.

Comments on Press Releases

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Tom Murphy(PR Tom) is talking about press releases and sending out releases via email. I’ve noticed with some newspapers that our (IrelandOffline) press releases get sent straight into the junkmail folder of their mailboxes. I was told this by a friend that happened to be doing some sysadmin work on their computers when he noticed our press release in the junk folder. Perhaps they’re sick of our releases about broadband and instead of asking to be removed from our mailings they just blocked us or perhaps their spam filters. Though it could also be badly configured spam filters who block anything that’s not got their email address in the “To:” field. Maybe we need to alter our mailing list management software to do this.

The main news sources always pick us up, which is comforting. It seems to be regional ones that might not get our mails. What I’ve found is that the likes of other journalists and radio stations will get on to us maybe 24 hours after our release after reading it in a paper or an online news source. For a voluntary group like IrelandOffline this allows us a bit if a breather.

What we’ve also been doing of late is adding on unique quotes for certain news orgs so they don’t just reprint the press release and are the same as everyone else. I think the journalists like this more, the ones who dislike copying and pasting that is.

Regarding subjectlines, all our press releases have the subject line begining with [Release] – Example: [Release] OECD Broadband Report – Ireland 27 Out of 30 for Value , generally something short and to the point.

Using RSS for news feeds is a good idea. I subscribe using BlogLines to a few newswires that have RSS feeds and they are very worthwhile. Perhaps we can get our overworked webmaster to look into it. The trouble with RSS is the News org needs to find you and add you to their subscription and not the other way round. Email was quite handy for allowing the person doing the release to take some of the journalists workload.

Link: The IrelandOffline Press Release Archive Online

Tales from the BoggerSphere

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Via Donncha via Eirepeneur

Two of the big blogging boys have picked up on my BoggerSphere neologism and Donncha has created a definition for it which I like: �Boggersphere – The totality of Oirish weblogs or Oirish blog-related webs.� Nice one Donncha and nice one to EirePreneur for picking it up. I’ll just wait for Dr. Cloud to create a button for “BoggerSphere” now I guess.

I don’t think this would have ever been picked up if it wasn’t for John Breslin’s Planet of the Blogs. I’ve noticed a change in the way I’m posting to my own blog too as a result. While I was already part of the great Internet Community, I’m now part of the Irish Blogging Community and thanks to PoTB we are getting a continuous feed of all our thoughts and ideas so I feel like I’m writing to the a real community now and not just a few friends that read the site now and then. Go community !

PoTB is already making more inroads than IrishBlogs because it is not exclusive but inclusive and John has the drive, energy and sense to solicit feedback and make changes as a result of comments from his audience. I think this is just the start of something bigger and this could be a really good way of Irish talent promoting and fostering additional Irish talent. Watch out for the next generation of journalists come into the spotlight on PoTB.

I haven’t joined the Irish Bloggers mailing list on Yahooo! but I may do soon enough.

Meanwhile I’ve created a new tagline for this blog – Tales from the BoggerSphere. I also think I’ll upgrade this site to WordPress or something like this and reopen comments and trackbacks. Right now I’m hammered hourly from trackback and comment spam and am not protected enough to open this blog up.

Doing more in less time

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Donncha points to an article about How to Get More Done in Less Time. This is very like the idea behind 43 Folders who base their ideas on the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. Some of the 43 Folders tips and ideas might not be relevant as the very techy stuff is tuned to Mac users but overall it’s an excellent resource for those that want to manage their work and life a bit better.

I’ve ordered the book, as has Dave O’Neill, mine is sitting on my desk ready to be read. But then there are 30 other books also waiting for me to give them attention too.

Open Source map of Ireland

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

EirePreneur brings up the idea of creating an open source GPS map of Ireland:

“Why don’t we create a similar ‘open source’ GPS map of Ireland? If OSI aren’t going to play ball with GPS mapping companies then maybe we can re-route around them (pun intended) with a smart mob of volunteer mappers.”

Great idea, I’d like to help. Someone else can organise it and I’ll attend and do the walking around with a GPS device.

Talking about your company

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Ciaran talks about his former employer here. It’d be nice if more of this kind of frank commentary was seen in the Irish Blogosphere. Pity one can only do it after you’ve left the company though.

By the way Ciaran, I’m not stalking you I swear. Blame Planet of the Blogs.

fredrik odman photography

Monday, April 11th, 2005

fredrik odman photography