The NBS works very well…really!!!

From the desk of Pat Rabbitte (Minister, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources; Dublin South West, Labour)

The broadband service contracted under National Broadband Scheme (NBS) is a basic, affordable, scalable product in keeping with EU State Aid clearance for the Scheme in September 2007. Under the terms of the contract which my Department has in place with Hutchison 3G Ireland Ltd (trading as “3”), the NBS mobile wireless service currently offers minimum download and upload speeds of 2.3Mbps and 1.4Mbps, respectively, subject to a maximum contention ratio of 18:1. The NBS satellite service, which is utilised in a small number of cases for technical reasons associated with the location of the premises, offers minimum download and upload speeds of 3.6Mbps and 384 kbps respectively, subject to a maximum contention ratio of 48:1.

My Department has well-established monitoring arrangements in place to ensure that the NBS delivers the minimum specified service or better to all users. Throughout the contract period, network utilisation and performance data is submitted by “3” to my Department on a monthly basis. The NBS contract guarantees service levels and imposes a service credit regime on “3”, with significant financial consequences in the event that minimum specification service levels are not met. The NBS contract also provides that where NBS customers do not receive the minimum guaranteed service, as set out in the terms and conditions of their contract, they are entitled to service rebates. My officials operate a dedicated NBS mailbox, which NBS customers, who have fully utilised 3’s established complaints process and consider that their complaint has not been resolved, can contact by email at . My Department will then liaise with “3” personnel at its Head Office in Dublin to remedy any service performance issues.

Since the Scheme began, my Department has dealt with individual complaints from a small number of NBS customers. In overall terms, the number of complaints received from public representatives in relation to the Scheme remains low.

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4 Responses

  1. joujoujou says:

    Yeah, number of complaints is low alright, but only because there’s no information that it is possible to complain. I’m with NBS from its very beginning (had no alternative). And just today found out here, that I could complain regarding miserable NBS (read as: No Broadband Supplied).

  2. James Howard says:

    I would say that technically this is correct but what it doesn’t mention is the difficulty of establishing a connection. I find myself having to reset my router three or four times a day and high-bandwidth activities such as using Netflix are a complete lottery. Some evenings, it just won’t happen while other days I get such a good signal that I have to limit my use due to hitting my download cap.

    In terms of complaining, this is not really worth the effort. You will first have to exhaust the Three support options and any call to this results in the immediate loss of the customer’s will to live.

    I was originally supplied with a repeater which made things worse and has a 50 watt rated power consumption which would run up an extra 5 euro in power each month. After several calls to Three about making this work, I just gave up and found the place in the house where I could get one or two bars of signal to make the router work without the repeater.

    The service does kind of work and it is much better than than the only alternative – ripplecom which is twice the price for half the data.

  3. Barry Moran says:

    This is more than frustrating. Is there anyway that we can get the government to realise that the service is not meeting minimum standards. There is infinite data available from specific users around the country to suggest that the service is nowhere near acceptable.

  4. Des Greene says:

    Have wasted so many hours on phone to 3 ‘help’ ( a misnomer if ever there was one)complaining about the poor service (typically 0.6 mbs or less and continuous breakdown of signal). The repeater offered is useful and even lowers the signal quality – quite apart from the high power usage. Talking on the phone to a different person in India, having to re-explain my problem from the start and then getting no action is exhausting and a strange Kafkaesque experience. Someone must be able to put pressure on ‘3’ to provide the service for which they are handsomely paid by the state. Where are the politicians on this fiasco??

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