The race for inward investment hots up

The race for inward investment hots up

Northern Ireland To Get over 20 Times More Fibre Than The South by 2011.(1)

Inward investment is a hot topic in these stressful times and any direct
challenge to our ability to attract this valuable inward investment needs to
be addressed as a matter of utmost urgency.

In early 2007 eircom, announced an unambitious and limited project where they
committed to installing 240 fibre nodes across the state over 3 years, largely
as they were enabling further exchanges for DSL.(2)

In comparison this week, Northern Ireland announced 1150 new BT fibre nodes(3)
by May 2011 all to be completed within 18 months.(4) This investment will  ensure a
MINIMUM GUARANTEED speed of 2mbits for all employers in Northern Ireland by mid 2011.

BT, after winning a competitive tender, is investing more than half the money
with the rest coming from various public funds, including some from  EU funds .

Commenting on the Contract the IrelandOffline Future Technologies Working
Group Chairperson Michael Watterson said:

” ‘Smart’ and ‘Green’ are but an illusion that fools nobody any more.
We need positive and realistic action on these issues immediately
and that requires that fibre be in the ground and fully lit

The price of failure to compete with our peers in the Global Knowledge economy
is economic oblivion. As our developed peers all move smartly towards the high
speed ‘cloud computing’ future  we in Ireland are left peering through a dark dank
drizzle of failed green policies”

IrelandOffline believe that a concerted and joint effort from all telecommunications
providers is required to address this vast gulf that is now opening up between
the Republic and the North. We, as a nation, need action not more meaningless
platitudes and soundbites about the “Knowledge Economy”.


Northern Ireland is 1/5th the size of the Republic and therefore on a pro rata basis
this investment would, if replicated here, correspond to over 5500 fibre nodes in
the republic and not a mere 240 nodes. Over 20 times more.

It would increase normal broadband speeds for everybody not just businesses and
we in Ireland Offline estimate that 5500 fibre nodes would deliver the same minimum
speeds as Northern Ireland. Currently there are 1200 exchanges in Ireland and a
fibre node is a mini telephone  exchange in a box on  a street corner…but nearer
the customer and faster. We would have nearly 7000 fast broadband
service points in that scenario.

Eircom , at their fastest, enable maybe 150 exchanges a year for broadband, some
with fibre and some without.

BT Propose to enable at a rate of 800 a YEAR which is as many as we installed in
all of our history.

Underlining the importance of fast broadband for a modern economy, Arlene Foster,
NI Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, said: “Broadband is an enabler-use
of these new services will enable our businesses to increase
their productivity, improving the competitiveness of the economy as a whole.


(2) Page 10.
(3) BT Fibre to the Cabinet ( Fibre to the neighbourhood not just to the exchange)

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1 Response

  1. Woody Cone says:

    Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, mit welcher Arroganz abeitet Eircom. Es wurde versprochen das bis 2009 jeder Buerger in der ROI zugang zu Broadband hat, aber das war eine Luege. Ich wohne in Adamstown, Co. Wexford, und es ist hier nicht moeglich Broadband zu bekommen, weder von 3,O2, Vodafone, Eircom und andere Provider. Wir sind hier von der uebrigen Datenautobahn abgeschnitten. Ich bin im Begriff ein kleines Unternehmen fuer Webdesign aufzubauen, aber da ich keinen Broadbandanschluss bekommen kann, kann ich vermutlich dieses Business nie starten, das soll heissen, ich bin auf staatliche Unterstuetzung angewiesen. Ich habe ebenso keine Chance Leute einen Job zu geben.
    Als ich 2009 Eircom kontaktiere bekam ich die Antwort das in Adamstown zu wenig Personen Broadband haben wollen und es daher fuer Eircom nicht rentabel ist die Vorausstetzungen zu schaffen Broadband zu bekommen. Dazu moechte ich sagen, warum ist es Sky nicht moeglich ihren Service fuer TV und Broadband auch in der ROI anzubieten, hat Eircom angst das dann die Kunden wechseln oder erst garnicht ihr Telefon bei Eircom anmelden?

    Es ist eine Schande das man im 21. Jahrhundert keinen Broadbandanschluss bekommen kann weil einige Lobbyisten nur an ihren eigenen Profit denken. Armes Irland.

    Mit freundlichen Gruessen

    Woody Coyne

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