Archive for the ‘Eamon Ryan’ Category

National Broadband Scheme delayed while coverage area unknown

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

There’s a very clever chap on who has spotted that Eamon Ryan is now changing his boiler plate replies on broadband and the National Broadband Scheme. Where once the Minister said all those in broadbandless areas would be getting broadband now he is saying something slightly different but it changes the whole nature of the National Broadband Scheme:

All requests for a broadband service in the areas to be addressed by the NBS will be met.

See that? But the NBS map has been changing constantly. Actively moving the goalposts that.

I asked for the below question to be asked of the Minister during PQs but it looks like it has not been asked/answered as yet but if it does get asked it might clarify the smog the Minister is creating on this issue:

Will the National Broadband Scheme cover all areas currently not served by broadband suppliers in Ireland, excluding satellite providers. What areas will not be covered by the National Broadband Scheme? given the maps have been redrawn since the intial map was released, increasing the areas that are not being served by broadband.

Meanwhile Simon Coveney finally (it wasn’t rocket science or complex math) caught Ryan on the rollout times for the National Broadband Scheme:

Deputy Simon Coveney: If contracts are being signed in November and if there is a 22-month roll-out period, can we safely assume that the Government target for universal broadband provision across the country will now be the end of 2010 rather than the end of 2009?

Ryan replied:

The national broadband scheme has taken slightly longer than we would have liked. My hope is that the detailed work that has gone into the preparation of the contract in advance, whoever the bidder is, will mean we will have swift roll-out and delivery on the commitment within it by mid-2010, which is the rough timeline set out.

(The bit not in italics is where he is lying)
Planning permission. Lots and lots of applications for planning permission in all these places. Hills, mountains, rough terrain. Masts and digging and all that. What sane company is going to apply for planning permission for masts BEFORE they win the tender? They have told this to the Department I am quite sure of, they’re not stupid. They have told the Minister of this too. If Dan Boyle is anyone to go by, Eamon Ryan, being the best guy in the whole wide world to know broadband (awww shucks thanks Bouncy) knows this too yet he tells the Dáil otherwise. He tells them somehow these companies can fast-track things? Oh would you come back down from the clouds Minister.

Ryan also lies about schools to Simon Coveney:

Deputy Eamon Ryan: Some 3,901 out of 3,936 schools have their local broadband connectivity installed, which is over 99% of them. Installation has typically been at speeds of up to 2 megabytes per second.

Of up to. Theoretical. Half of these are via a shitty satellite dish. Sat. A. Lite. Eam mon. There is no ugrade path to fibre with Sat. A. Lite. Sat. A. Lite is for Ethiopia. That’s in that hot place. It’s useless for a whole school. Useless for a whole classroom. Last resort Internet access and half the schools in the scheme get it.

Lots of delays lots of lies. Status quo. I’m going to bed before I go on a rampage. Another post about Eamon Ryan gets autoposted later today.

Dan Boyle – hmmmm

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I’d started off writing a blog post about how I thought Dan Boyle was a cunt for voting against Shane Ross’s broadband bill. I’ve slightly softened my stand after reading the transcripts of the debate. Dan has so far proved himself to be a massive apologist for everything the Government has done of late including fucking over pensioners.

(If Dan Boyle decides to seek re-election in Cork South Central I’ll probably do my level best to make sure he doesn’t get enough votes to get in, even if I have to go through a lot of personal finances to do so. I got burned once by the lieing Green Party, I’d hope to make sure others are aware of the lengths they’ll go to in order to inflate their egos about being part of the Government.)

Photo owned by sophiea (cc)

Anyways, on to Shane Ross’s valiant attempt at his broadband bill. Shot down by the following people by the way, if you want to visit them and complain, this is who they are, a lame email won’t be enough I should think. Visit them.:

Boyle, Dan.
Brady, Martin.
Butler, Larry.
Callely, Ivor.
Carty, John.
Cassidy, Donie.
Corrigan, Maria.
Daly, Mark.
de Búrca, Déirdre.
Ellis, John.
Feeney, Geraldine.
Glynn, Camillus.
Hanafin, John.
Leyden, Terry.
MacSharry, Marc.
McDonald, Lisa.
Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
O’Brien, Francis.
O’Donovan, Denis
O’Malley, Fiona.
O’Sullivan, Ned.
Ormonde, Ann.
Phelan, Kieran.
Walsh, Jim.
White, Mary M.
Wilson, Diarmuid.

So Dan gets up and backs up Eamon Ryan, you know, the guy that lies about how good things are when it comes to broadband. Just like the crazies in his Department.

While I think it’s really shitty to stand up and shout down a bill that was doing good, Dan was constructive at times and living on planet WTF at other times such as:

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is sufficiently energised in pointing his Department in the right direction in fulfilling this policy goal. He has enough commitment and knowledge of the subject to ensure the goals are met. It is not facetious to say that he knows in computing terms the plural of “mouse” is “mouses”. He is the one Cabinet member with a knowledge of how particular technology choices in this area work.

Mouse, mouses. Shuddup Chris Farley. In the next bit he at least pointed out he differed in opinion to Ryan and praised a lot of Ross’s bill.

One function for an overseeing agency would be to ensure broadband penetration is reached critically in each of those sectors. The Minister has indicated his personal priority as regards broadband in schools. I am confident there will be significant advances in this area. It must be recognised better broadband access for households has other implications such as encouraging home working and preventing unnecessary commuter transport.

The difference between technology platforms is an area I believe could be more tightly regulated. Will the majority of broadband service be delivered through cable or some other platform such as satellite? The Minister indicated that because the greater increase in broadband services is through mobile platforms, this seems to be policy direction. I am not sure that should be the case. There are still opportunities to have a cable-based system that will carry as much of the broadband network as possible while having the mobile broadband as an add-on.

The Minister is open to debate on the issue while at the same time progressing policy goals in this area. I would like to see Senator Shane Ross, who has taken an interest in this area, engage in further goading of the Minister, the Department and the Government on broadband services. I know the Minister has stated he will not accept this Bill but there is still a need for the Minister to explain what he intends to do in regulation and legislation, if necessary, in this area.

Schools? More schools have a satellite dish feeding them Internet access than proper broadband. Satellite is not broadband. Also Ryan has said 2009 will be when his Department will reexamine broadband in schools. I find it very interesting that broadband in schools is the new fad from the Department. Love how they’re talking about fibre? How many have fibre now? How many will have fibre in 2009? You don’t know. The Department doesn’t know because it’s made up. Pulled out of the air.

Two questions if answered honestly by Boyle and his party members would push things along:

  • Will you agree that mobile “broadband” is not in fact credible broadband and is more like mobile dialup?
  • Will you agree that these mobile figures should not be used by the Government to measure broadband subscriptions?

Were such an honest answer given, it would make progress in my view because there’d be less lies to hide behind and more motiviation to make progress. Unlike now.

Broadband customer service – Want to tell RTE about it?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Photo owned by Kofoed (cc)

RTE Current Affairs are looking for stories about experiences with broadband or customer service in general. Want to tell your side? They’re looking for both positive and not so positive experiences. I know which will have the most volume!

Email: with your story.

Minister Eamon Ryan’s Next Gen Broadband Forum – Constructive, depressive and with the odd spacer

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

To summarise the event in one sentence: We all want fibre-like broadband and we want it everywhere but we’re fucked infrastructure wise.

And now follows a longer summary:
I previously wrote about how Eamon Ryan put a half-day open forum together on Next Generation Broadband. He even went on to announce it. I got to go along, along with Damien Callan from and a few other folks including general consumers and people from The structure was a room with 14 tables and around each table were civil servants, telco people, people from the EU, consumers/campaigners and other interested parties. In other words, a very good mix, though it all depended on who was at your table. Some fantastic minds happened to be at mine.

Coober Pedy
Photo owned by jnpk1979 (cc)

It was almost table-quiz in structure as we were given table questions to consider and give answers to over a number of rounds. Each table had someone that would then communicate what the table had decided. Some were good and feedback from people after told me some had their agenda already set and gave that.

Mostly the topics dealt with state assets, future trends, the best way to get everyone broadband, the digital divide etc. Some of the questions were stupid though such as asking to decide on a max and minimum speed by 2010, 2015 and further. Really! Jesus. Targets once set have most energy around them dedicated to rigging them as I happily pointed out to the Dept of Comms rep at the table. (big fan of you by the way dude, love your memos that I got under FOI.) The rep’s Department have lied for years about broadband levels and every Minister with them. Whatever someone wants was my answer and our aim should not be a speed because every prediction has been beyong wrong, it should be whatever the person or business wants. 100Mb, no problem, a gig, no problem. I argued strongly for that.

Then came a typically backwards-thinking question and one that gets my brainblood boiling: What is the killer app for broadband? Dedicating time to figuring out a “killer app” for a medium is wasteful and isn’t addressing the issue. What’s the killer app for water? What’s the killer app for electricity? See, they’re utilities, they don’t need killer apps. (David Isenberg points to a Jupiter survey that shows people will stop going to the movies and paying for movie channels well before giving up their Net) “The killer app” for broadband (were it to exist) is broadband. A free and open pipe and have the world build things in, on and around it.

Photo owned by iwona_kellie (cc)

After the tablequizims, there were breakout sessions to discuss various things and then we all came back together to discuss the results of them. And then something odd happened, despite the whole general feeling of the day about needing of more speeds and better connections the Assistant Secretary General of the Department of Communications stood up and summarised the day and the state of Ireland and said that from the day we see people don’t need or use fast broadband connections and sure all they do is send emails anyway. Planet Nothere called and want their spacer back. Maybe he’s a nice guy, I hear he is but stating that nobody uses their 20mb connection for anything more than email is devoid of reality or just a plain fucking lie and it’s obvious that the Department can do that very well.

So was it just a talking shop? some of the people think so. I don’t. It made the Civil Service do something new: Meet reality and the people that exist there. Not the telco people either but real Joe and Joanna Soaps. Happily ignoring people from an Ivory Tower and only interacting via highly controlled paper consultations didn’t happen. Real people spoke and shared.

What needed to happen though was that everyone there agreed on a todo list for the Department and the Department had to go off and carry some of them out and report back in 3 months. Reality-based todos that can be done, so at least it’s better than nothing at all. Action points were needed. Let’s hope if there is a next time it will have them.

Broadband day on

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Meeting the EU today in ComReg HQ to tell them how shit ComReg are and how lame the Dept of Comms are. Then over to Dublin Castle for this shindig with Eamon Ryan ringleading it. The rockstars, the hasbeens and the neverwillbes of Irish telecoms will be there as well as general consumers and those representing as many demographics as possible. I’ll try to liveblog from it if I can. I hope it’s constructive. I already hear the IBEC lot are put up a united front.

It’s apt that this survey from the EU showing how bad Ireland is came out yesterday.

And also that we may get a super telecoms regulator for the EU.

ComReg are running a conference on the Digital Divide on Wednesday where EU Commissioner Viviane Reding will talk and probably talk more about this super-regulator. Naturally I didn’t get invited. It seems perverse that we have a Comms Minister who actually rings me and invites me to events despite not agreeing on a whole lot and the “independent” telecoms regulator does their best to pretend I don’t exist.

Irish Comms Minister uses to get feedback.

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I’m impressed. Post here. And it was him, not a handler or some joker.

The event the Minister is inviting people to is a roundtable discussion or rather 12 tables of people discussing the Broadband issues. Representatives from Govt, the telcos, consumers, the regulator and wider industry will be at each table, if I correctly recall what I was told.

Places are limited so if you want to have your voice heard you can join the NGB discussion forum on Spammado
and give your replies to questions there. It’s very odd though that the forum is marked as private and invite only. It should be made public for people to read the replies from people. It also has pathetic rules (stored in a powerpoint file)such as “We will delete any bad language!”.

How does one call bullshit in a succint way? When you do enter that forum (if given access), you’ll see it almost right away.

Despite all those issues, please do try and join and get your opinion viewed. If you have issues let me know, you can always post your comments here.

You mean mobile dialup, right?

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Just because you scored a girl once, doesn’t make you’re a stud, just because it’s theoretically possible to get broadband speeds on a modem from 3, O2 or Vodafone doesn’t mean you have a broadband connection. But why let the truth get in the way of a report from the telecoms poodle, right?

ComReg today said there are 222,330 mobile broadband connections in Ireland as of last quarter. Here’s something to try: Publish monthly results of speeds tests on their networks from various locations. See what happens.

Minister Eamon Ryan congratulates ComReg on a telecoms market in Ireland which collectively lies about what a broadband connection is. Heckuva job there Comregy. The Dept of Comms, ComReg and the telcos are never going to question each other when they’re all benefiting from not opening their books to see the real speeds of their services. I chatted to Minister Ryan before the Summer and put this to him and suggested he instruct ComReg to run monthly speeds tests on all the networks and publish the results. Until this happens I’m certainly not going to have any respect for these figures and the offices that tout them.

Dave sent this on and is just doing a Pavlov’s Dog test on me I think. 🙂

This isn’t Pavlov’s dog. It’s ComReg:
Apricot Miniature Poodle
Photo owned by charkesw (cc)

BT Ireland pull out of the National Broadband Scheme

Friday, July 25th, 2008

News just coming in. Confirmed with them too. No reasons for doing so yet. The final tender was meant to be decided by Autumn so this is cutting it close. The Department go on hols (just like the Courts) in the next while too. BT Ireland will still be the tech partner for Three who along with eircom are the only ones left in the tender process.

Not sure will the Department be as happy with a two horse race and them leaving this late into it. I wonder what changed recently?

Update: Irish Times coverage.

A BT spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that it had withdrawn “due to the lack of spectrum being made available” for the scheme.

BT planned to provide coverage using a wireless technology called WiMax. Industry sources said that 10Mhz of radio spectrum was being made available for the NBS.

Following a technical analysis, BT found this was not sufficient as it would have required a large number of base stations to provide the broadband speeds required by the Department of Communications.

More from the Dáil Archives on the Dept of Comms

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Via here:

Deputy Enda Kenny asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the names, titles and annual salaries of each of the political advisers, press officers, assistants or other staff appointed by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28162/07]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): The names, titles, and annual salaries of each of the political advisors, press officers, assistants or other staff appointed by me are as follows:

Mr … Special Adviser Principal Officer (Higher) salary scale (modified PRSI) €88,261(min) to €102,305 (max)
Ms … Press Adviser Principal Officer (Standard) salary scale (modified PRSI) €82,016 (min) to €95,363 (max)
Ms … Political Adviser/Coordinator with Minister of State Mr Tony Killeen, T.D. Principal Officer (Standard) salary scale (modified PRSI) €82,016 (min) to €95,363 (max)
Ms … Personal Assistant HEO salary scale (modified PRSI) €44,314 (min) to €52,379 (max)
Ms … Personal Secretary Secretarial Assistant salary scale €22,064 (min) to €41,019 (max)

A follow-up to Eamon Ryan’s Broadband Promises….

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

More light has been shed by Eamon Ryan on his Broadband Promises:

From more Dáil debates:

Remember the one about schools? Tender doesn’t start until 2009 and there is no end date…

Deputy Eamon Ryan: Each school has broadband connection. The intention is to continue the current broadband connectivity and, on a phased basis, where schools currently have in the order of from half a megabit to two megabits they will be replaced with 100 megabits and local area connectivity networks so that within the school each classroom can be connected.

As I said in the report and today, that will be done on a phased basis starting in 2009. I do not want to be prescriptive on the timing because we must go into a detailed competitive tendering process that must be worked out.

Deputy Eamon Ryan: The word “phased” implies that I will not give a specific completion date because I must work with the industry to ensure a competitive tendering process to see which technologies will best apply. Following the completion of that, we will have the complete outcome of the actual phases.

And on the NBS map and areas where service providers told fibs about, seems they made a better map:

Service providers were given until 30 June 2008 to act on their stated intentions to roll out broadband in the blue areas of the map. As the end of June 2008 has now passed, any blue area where a service provider has failed to roll out services has been changed to white to reflect the fact that no service is available in the area. Any blue area where a service provider now provides a service has been changed to red to reflect the fact that the service is available in the area.

Consequently, the NBS map is now being updated and the next iteration of the map will show areas that are served, red areas and areas where no service is available, white areas. The map will reflect the red and white areas as they stood on 30 June 2008. There will be no blue areas in the next iteration of the map, which will be the final map that will issue with the invitation to tender.

On the MANs:

Phase 1 of the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) programme provided open access, high-speed broadband networks to 27 towns and cities throughout the country. The MANs were co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund. All 27 MANs from Phase 1 have been successfully handed over to eNet, whose role is to manage, maintain, market and operate the MANs on behalf of the State. The networks are offered to telecommunication service providers on a wholesale basis to allow them to provide services without the need to build their own networks in the various cities and towns. The cost of the Phase 1 MANs Programme was just over €84 million.

Phase 2 of the MANs programme is almost complete. The estimated cost of the Phase 2 MANs Programme, which will provide an additional 60 MANs covering 66 towns, is €90 million.

MANs Projects in 28 towns under Phase 2 were suspended, pending consideration of the findings of a Value for Money and Policy Review of the Phase 1 Programme and a Next Generation Broadband Policy Paper both of which were published last week.

Future investment decisions including any investment in MANs will be guided by the outcome of the consultation on Next Generation Broadband; the recommendations of the Value for Money and Policy Review and other analyses as appropriate.