The National Broadband Plan part II

The National Broadband Plan

Irelandoffline would like to give the DCENR team who built the http://broadband.gov.ie/ mapping site that was launched yesterday some kudos for a job well done.

By the standards of the output produced by DCENR over the years this is an astonishingly complete and accurate piece of work. We were extremely worried when a frankly incoherent list was quickly announced by Minister Rabbitte just before the local elections but as it turns out we need not have been.

Some opportunities have been missed. The ability to send a geolocated query direct from the map, perhaps with a speed-test result, would have improved its usefulness. We would like to have seen some distinction between existing and planned deployments, and we are curious about the different service radii accorded to eircom planned investments. And a small point perhaps, but the use of an imperial scale is incongruous in 2014.

In terms of NGA technology deployed today (and realistically expected to be deployed in the near future) and of the effective real life performance of that technology we feel that the Department and the team behind Broadband.gov.ie have delivered a great baseline measurement product and which work will accurately inform the debate on serving the underserved and the unserved going forward.

Given its accuracy and the way that operators refine their capital expenditure plans we have no problems seeing more blue ‘spots’ appearing than the Department might be.

A watching brief

Like the Skibbereen Eagle of old we will be “Keeping an eye on the Tsar of Russia” and making sure the plan actually happens and continuing to inform the public.

There are many more questions to be answered during this process, questions about technology, “commercial interests” and even the role of state vs private gap funding, community gap funding pools and community generated cross subsidy and whether we can find a role for the credit union movement to help with all this and finally whether we can join all of that with “commercial interests” in the interests of the taxpayer. But we will save those for another day.

Todays product was the map and the map is a true and fair picture of where we are.

Having said all that well done to the DCENR and we mean that most sincerely.!

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