Ireland’s broadband performance slumps

Ireland’s broadband performance slumps
In light of Ireland’s continued decline in the world rankings we in IrelandOffline are calling on the Minister of Communications to put away the continual departmental excuse book and take immediate action to address this dismal performance measurement.

This performance plunge puts us below such Internet luminaries as Moldova,Vietnam, Mongolia since 2010(1) ,Papua New Guinea, Ghana(2) and Kyrgyzstan.

Eamonn Wallace, Chairman of IrelandOffline said : “These are countries in transition or developing economies, unlike Ireland which aspires to be in the top tier of countries for Internet access. Patently this will not be the case as our performance is falling quarter by quarter. The Department of Excuses (DECNR) does not seem unduly worried about this disastrous showing, preferring to ‘spin’ and cling to outdated ideologies. Most of the advances in recent reports have been down to work done by UPC in Cities and Large Towns, however the majority of the country suffers from dismal download speeds and this needs to be addressed urgently if we are to have any hope of matching the EU 2020 Vision ‘knowledge economy’ goals”.

Wallace continued: “The digital divide is widening as as shown by the speeds provided by UPC in mostly urban areas compared to the speeds offered by eircom in the rest of the country. The average eircom speed is now only 4.67 Mbps which demonstrates the pitiful and ongoing lack of investment by eircom in the network.”

Outlook for 2012
Below are the issues most likely to be important and affect consumers/businesses in 2012.

Rabbit, Rabbit Rabbit
For nine months now Minister Rabbitte has been involved in “talks” with a carefully selected and limited number of stakeholders, each with their own self-serving agendas to pursue, on how to rollout Next Generation Broadband in the country. These talks are supposed to be in-line with the Digital Agenda for Europe.The Digital Agenda outlines the following:

  • Access to basic broadband should be available to all citizens by 2013:
  • Access to broadband with speeds of 30 Mbps or above should be available to all


citizens by 2020

Neither of these two goals will be met. 3G is not Broadband, nor will it ever be whatever the promises of LTE. The most common cause of disconnection in 3G is when the cell shrinks under load in the evenings leaving customers with NO signal for hours.

However many of the most important stakeholders have been openly excluded while useless 3G operators are inexplicably included. 3G providers can never deliver anything like 30Mbs no matter what green field produces this week’s thinking in the DCENR. Where are the Fixed Wireless ISPs and the dark fibre providers in these discussions? These infrastructure providers are the operators that will more likely deliver the necessary infrastructure required to satisfy the Digital Agenda for Europe. Fixed wireless uses available spectrum up to eight times more efficiently than 3G mobile midband does. Where are the representatives of consumers/businesses? Nowhere to be seen.

The imminent collapse of eircom

The destruction of eircom is nearly completed, insanely high line rental charges have led to a decline in lines in use. Greedy venture capitalists and bankers have serially destroyed the company. So much for the much trumpeted “fully liberalised market” that was supposed to deliver improvements to the network for the benefit of Ireland.

The looming disaster at eircom as reported in many news reports seems likely in the near future.
The decision by Singapore-based majority shareholder ST Telemedia (STT) not to meet the extended deadline for submitting a modest proposal on the restructuring the company’s €3.7 billion net debt, citing Euro zone instability, has thrown all existing plans into chaos. All that is left are proposals from the various lenders on how to restructure the company. This will likely lead to examinership of the company and ongoing turmoil into 2014.


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