So says John White of PA Consulting. Is this the same PA Consulting that are rolling out the Government ID Cards in the UK?
An opinion piece in Computers in Business this week once again harped back to the bullshit line that it is a demand issue and not an availability issue when it comes to broadband in Ireland.
There has been a fair measure of good, old-fashioned Irish begrudgery in the ongoing debate on broadband access in this country. It’s largely been a one sided blame game so far.
Actually, before IrelandOffline beat all the naysayers with the reality stick, eircom, ComReg, DCMNR and the eircom yesman that call themselves TIF were all blaming the lack of broadband on the people, saying they didn’t want it. It took a long while but now they are all seeing that the issue is about availability not demand. People rabidly want broadband, even ComReg stats show that. Chambers of Commerce of Ireland stats showed that and recent O2 surveys showed it. People want broadband and cannot get it. This is still the biggest issue. Not begrudgery, reality. I love how people try and dismiss anyone that gives out about constant bullshit as begrudgers.
This looks bad, and indeed it is bad. But what the bare statistics fail to show is how well we’ve been doing recently. Ireland had among the strongest growth rates during 2006, adding more than 5.8 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. That placed us in the top four in the OECD and on top of a doubling of penetration levels the previous year.
Here we go. ComReg logic. A growth rate of 100% when the current penetration rate is low is much much less of a jump when another country and a high penetration rate has a single figure increase in growth. 100% of 1 is nothing to 10% of 60. Basic maths.
This means that 75 per cent of the population have access and only 12.5 per cent have decided to take it up. Why aren’t the other 62.5 per cent interested? This is the most important question that we have to answer in relation to broadband penetration.
Now this is just fucking dumb. Most countries will not reach 100% penetration rate because WE ALL DON’T LIVE BY OURSELVES. How dare Mummy, and sister and brother not get broadband when Daddy already pays for a broadband connection.
Now another point. 12.5% of the population have broadband and given that just 75% can actually access broadband, it means had we 100% availability like most countries, adjusting for that means 17% penetration. Which reaches the EU average.
Among the main barriers to these people availing of broadband access are probably cost, lack of IT knowledge, access to technology and lack of relevance. In each of these areas, the government can take steps to help improve our performance.
It’s availability, it was availability and it still will be availability. But for a consultant that needs to sell crap, availability will not make one money.
The cost issue is an interesting one. You can now get pretty good broadband access for around €20 per month. This is a lot less than some people spend on text messaging but is still seen by many as too high.
€20 a month for those already paying for a phoneline. €50 a month plus install costs if you get a phoneline just so you can get broadband. Let’s be clear. This is how most of the population is able to get broadband. MOST of the population cannot get wireless broaband like the one Digiweb offers for €20 a month.
For example, a partnership between government and industry could run roadshows, visiting shopping centres and other public spaces throughout the country offering 15 minute internet classes, with an incentive of entering a prize draw on the internet.
Ooooh and we’d need consultants for that!
A grant should be introduced for purchasers of personal computers of a certain specification. The grant could only be availed of once in a three year period and would be equivalent to the Vat element of the cost of the PC.
Cos €400 for a Dell computer is way out of reach of everyone, is it? FACT: PC Penetration is in-line with many other EU countries that have a broadband penetration figure double our own.
The relevance issue could prove more difficult in that many people find their dial-up access is al l they require for their limited level of internet usage. However, if the government were to begin setting up content-rich sites for the public which required broadband access for full functionality, this too might be addressed.
That’s it! That’s how you solve the broadband crisis in Ireland. Make websites harder to download and bigger so those on dialup are even more fucking screwed. Hurt dialup users. Yeah. It’s like saying printing more books will increase the literacy rate in Ireland.
I believe that this is a fundamental requirement to getting the 100 per cent coverage that we all aspire to.
But you yourself has said it is not an availability issue, that implies not a coverage issue. Which is it?