Broadband now available in every district in Ireland – Minister

IrelandOffline refute NBS claims of Minister Ryan

IrelandOffline read with interest the announcement of the Minister today that broadband is now available to over 99% coverage for the whole country. Patently this is far removed from the reality of the NBS.

Never before has a Minister claimed to break the laws of physics -other laws perhaps- but never physics. These laws are immutable no matter what kind of expensive marketing you have.

This what the National Broadband scheme is supposed to deliver contractually:
“A service with a minimum download speed of 1.6Mbps and maximum of 6.8Mbps with a contention ratio of 22:1 has been made available for 235,000 premises across every county in Ireland. Built into the contract is a provision that speeds will be increased to a maximum of 10 Mbps by October 2012.” [1]

Let’s see what laws the Minister has now managed to bend or magically suspend:
Inverse-square law
In physics, an inverse-square law is any physical law stating that some physical quantity or strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity. Signal is one quarter or less with every doubling of distance. The Shannon-Hartley limit is a mathematical limit for “speed of data“ for given bandwidth, power and noise level.[2]

CDMA Cell breathing
Cell breathing is the constant change of the range of the geographical area covered by a cellular telephone transmitter based on the amount of traffic currently using that transmitter. When a cell becomes heavily loaded, it shrinks. Subscriber traffic is then redirected to a neighboring cell that is more lightly loaded, which is called load balancing. Cell breathing is a common phenomenon of all CDMA (code-division multiple access) based systems such as 3G wireless. The NBS terrestrial delivery is 100% using Three’s 3G/HSPA Mobile phone licence and system.[3]

Mobile midband is a shared resource
Headline speeds are quoted for only one user near the mast in the sector. All other users get a fraction of these headline speeds due to the phenomena mentioned above. Also since it’s a shared resource, even if it was perfect, with 10 connections you would have 1/10th of the speed. In the real world 10 simultaneous connections would slow the user to as low as 0.12Mbps

Bandwidth
The national Broadband Scheme has ONLY 3 x 5Mhz channels for all mast sectors in the entire Country. It is delivered by Three Ireland. They only have a 3G phone licence, which can carry data. There is no Broadband network. Just a Mobile Phone network which Three had to extend anyway to meet the terms of their 3G licence for Rollout. Voice calls always get priority.

Mobile is dialup
One of the basic definitions of broadband is an always on connection. Midband on the other hand is basically a dialup system. 1Mbps on 6km long DSL is actually more useful than 21Mbps Mobile “Broadband” (actually Internet via Mobile Phone system)[4]

Missing masts
Many masts have been refused planning permission and therefore are not functional and little or no service is being delivered in those areas.

For these reasons mobile midband can never deliver the agreed minimum specifications, no matter what wishful thinking is invoked.

References
[1]
http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/Press+Releases/Broadband+now+available+in+every+district+in+Ireland.htm

[2] http://hubpages.com/hub/Analysis-on-the-efficiencies-of-CDMA-and-TDMA-technologies-in-a-wireless-communication-network
[3] http://www.radioway.info/comparewireless/
[4] http://www.techtir.ie/comms/mobile-vs-fixed

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