Tag: international_broadband

Appalling state of broadband in Ireland

Forfás* released a damning report on the state of broadband in Ireland on 30th November 2006. Remember, Forfás is an Irish governmental agency operating under the auspices of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

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.

Broadband penetration by household

When you look at the quality of the broadband offerings in comparison to other countries, you can see how far behind Ireland is:
Quality of Service

One of the principal reasons for this, according to the Forfás 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.
Local Loop Unbundling

Noel Dempsey has been the minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources happily overseeing Ireland’s lack of broadband and all that this means for our competitiveness internationally.

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.

*Forfás is:

Ireland’s national policy and advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation

Iranian telecoms regulator should hire Irish broadband suppression expertise

However bad things are in Ireland in relation to our broadband speeds – things are even worse in Iran. According to the Guardian, the government there has ordered all ISPs to limit Internet speeds to 128kb. This is in an effort to:

make it more difficult to download foreign music, films and television programmes, which the authorities blame for undermining Islamic culture among the younger generation. It will also impede efforts by political opposition groups to organise by uploading information on to the net.

Iran also has some of the most stringent filters blocking Internet sites into the country – almost as bad as China’s infamous Great Firewall of China.

Having said that, I know several people in Ireland who’d love if they could get speeds of 128kb ‘cos they are stuck with 44kb dialup.

If Iran is really serious about reducing the speeds of access for its citizens, I suggest they hire in the expertise of Ireland’s Minister for Broadband Suppression and Ireland’s Telecom’s Regulator Isolde Goggin who have successfully managed to keep Ireland at the bottom of the international broadband leagues for years now

52mb broadband for

Damien posted the following table of international broadband data from the ITU

International broadband comparisons

Notice Japan has 50mb broadband for less than $32 per month?

According to Damien the comparable Irish figures are:

eircom broadband business plus – 4MB – €107.69 inc vat
eircom broadband business enhanced – 5MB – €204 inc vat

Digiweb Metro Plus – 5MB – €78.65
Digiweb Metro Xpress – 8Mb – €163.35

The Irish minister for communications broadband suppression should be shot or at least fired for gross incompetence.