I have had one problem with 7.10 so far and that is that it won’t remember my DNS settings. I’m not sure why that is or if it is only me. I normally use OpenDNS for my DNS – it is annoying to go back to Eircom’s significantly slower DNS servers after using OpenDNS servers for so long now.
As Eircom are the largest provider of residential broadband in Ireland, this is potentially a big deal. As Joe Drumgoole commented at the time:
they have inadvertently created Irelandâ€™s largest free WIFI network. Good man Eircom!
However, BT is now facing an even more serious issue on its wireless routers according to an article in the Register today. At least in Eircom’s case, the vulnerability only exposed the WEP key, allowing use of the wifi on the router.
In the case of the BT router, the Reg is reporting that
a remote attacker can quietly gain full administrator control over a device simply by social engineering a user into visiting a website. The exploit makes it possible to steal a user’s WPA key, listen in on VoIP calls, steal VoIP credentials or change DNS settings so users are silently redirected to fraudulent websites
This is a far more serious an issue then the Eircom one and the number of routers this affected is likely to be orders of magnitude greater.
The one saving grace is that the hack hasn’t been published in the wild, as was the case with Eircom. Yet.
The report is 34 pages in PDF format. Let me summarise some of the main findings for you:
The report found that:
In 2005, the European Commission estimated that DSL coverage in Ireland based on population stood at 72%, making it the second lowest of the EU-15 countries. Rural DSL availability was just 38% of the population
In this graph you can see the poor uptake of broadband in Ireland – Ireland (in green near the bottom) ranks 21st out of 24 EU countries surveyed, slightly ahead of Slovakia and Cyprus.
When you look at the quality of the broadband offerings in comparison to other countries, you can see how far behind Ireland is:
One of the principal reasons for this, according to the ForfÃ¡s report is the unbelievably slow rate of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) in Ireland as the incumbent telecom (Eircom) aided and abetted by its partner Comreg the does everything in its power to thwart any attempts to unbundle.
Check out the graph to see how far behind we are internationally in terms of LLU.
Eircom’s desire to stop LLU, I can understand, but you have to wonder what are the motivations of Comreg and Noel Dempsey for perpetuating this state of affairs. They are supposed to be working in the interests of the Irish people. I can only guess what promises have been made to whom.
This morning I was unable to receive incoming calls on my Blueface service. I discovered this when Brian Greene tried to call me. Fortunately we were having an IM chat on Skype at the time so we were able to talk on Skype instead but had it not been for that, I would have been blissfully unaware that there was any problem.
Pat reported this morning that Smart Telecom’s phone service was down. Their upstream provider, Eircom, cut them off for non-payment of bills leaving 40,000+ of Smart’s customers with no phone service.
Were I cynical I’d suggest that Eircom did this as a cheap means of acquiring 40,000+ new customers.
The Irish telecom’s regulator, ComReg (aka Eircom’s lapdog) knew this was coming for a long time and never bothered stepping in to try to resolve the dispute – why would they? It is not as if ComReg gives a toss about the consumer. Nope, yet again they (in)acted in Eircom’s interest.
It will be interesting to see what position Isolde Goggin will be offered in Eircom when she steps down as ComReg Chair.
ComReg is the Irish telecoms poodle as opposed to the Irish Telecoms regulator which is what they claim to be! This is the organisation which has presided over Ireland being one of the most expensive countries in Europe for broadband and consequently Ireland having one of the lowest rates of uptake for broadband in Europe.
As a regulator, ComReg is worse than useless because they do nothing to help the rollout of broadband and thus are part of the problem.
So when you get the telecoms regulator rolling over every time Eircom says “boo!” you know you have a telecoms poodle not a regulator.
Tom Raftery – Influencer, Thought Leader, and Storyteller focusing on Sustainability, Supply Chain, and Technology's take on how digitization and innovation are creatively disrupting our world