Quarterly Report Q2 2012 PR
Ireland’s position in the broadband stakes deteriorates yet again.Ireland is now at its lowest ever position in the Global Table for Download Speeds and also for Upload Speeds.
Ireland dropped five places to 56th position in the World for download speeds. Bandwidth in Ireland, the self proclaimed “Internet Capital of Europe”, costs 188% of the average EU cost and 238% of the Median EU Cost. These figures were 184% and 211% in Q1 2012. Bandwidth costs are rising relative to our European peers with a 10% cost hike relative to the Median EU Cost in this quarter alone.
Ireland relies to an inordinate extent on Mobile Broadband, with its tiny data caps, which typically delivers an experience around 2 Mb/s average speed and for which the customer pays $25 a month. This results in a cost per Mb/s as delivered of around $12.50 per Mb/s
The Urban-Urban divide in Ireland
Eamonn Wallace,chairman of IrelandOffline said :”This divide is growing at a huge rate and those sentenced to use mobile midband and satellite are feeling the pain. Third world solutions are not suitable for the so called Internet capital of Europe. Satellite has its place but not at the heart of a broadband policy, think 1000km out on the Atlantic perhaps?”
‘Promise’ statistics remain poor. The gap between contracted speeds and actual delivery is wide – the third widest in Europe. An initiative by ComReg (underwritten by a promise in the program for Government) to curb excessive speed claims seems to be stillborn. We remain 24th out of 27 in Europe on this index. Comreg will need to remember to write down its ‘contracted’ speed figures by nearly 30% in future to bring some credibility to its own quarterly reports.
Not an Inch Pat
Wallace continued: “No we are not referring to the ‘Labour’s Way’ strategy it is worse than that.
Minister Rabbitte is the first Minister of Communications who did not get a single inch of fibre installed in his first year of office.
Messrs Ryan and Dempsey presided over a few random road openings and perhaps a MAN or two. Minister O’Rourke incentivised quite a lot of digging under her EOPS programmes. Minister Dukes, hardly a wet week in the Ministry probably managed something.”
Like the Irish football team at the 2012 Euros, everybody is willing Ireland on but nobody wants to take charge of the situation and put a realistic plan in place, we generate excuse after excuse as reasons for doing nothing, meanwhile Estonia has stolen our “Internet capital” crown by actually rolling out fibre across their country. This too is a country that has suffered greatly in the “Economic crash” yet they have the foresight and political will to see that ubiquitous fibre is a building block in the search for economic growth. As is outlined in our report many countries are passing us out, we need action now!
The OECD recently took an approach in evaluating the costs of building FTTH networks in its Network Developments in Support of Innovation and User Needs report. Instead of estimating the benefits as in the various aforementioned reports, the OECD looked at what short-term cost savings would be needed in the electricity, healthcare, education, and transport sectors to justify an investment in a FTTH network.
Our goals should be simple and clear:
- Making broadband policy universal. By 2015, we should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in the Universal Access / Service Definitions.
- Making broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable through adequate regulation and market forces (amounting to less than 5% of average monthly income).
- Connecting homes to broadband. By 2015,a reasonable percentage of households should have reliable (not satellite or 3G) Internet access.
- Getting people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60%
For four years the Department of Communications has hidden behind a limited policy of rolling out 160 new 3g cells under the National Broadband Plan and pronouncing that “everybody has broadband”. The National Broadband Plan expires in 2014 and many of these masts may well be abandoned the very next day.