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:
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