Jan 23 2009

All Ireland Broadband

Category: eGovernment,TelecomsTeknovis @ 7:46 pm

Yesterday the Irish Minister for Communications announced details of the all Ireland broadband Internet access roll-out scheme. The essence of this is that every part of Ireland will have broadband Internet access by 2010, thanks to an investment of 223€ million by the Irish Government.

At the moment 10% of the population do not have broadband Internet access, and these 10% live in areas that represent 33% of the area of the country.

Three has won the contract to supply this broadband Internet access, and it will do this using 3G technology. I might be incorrect, but I think that BT actually installed, commissioned, and operates the 3G network in Ireland for Three.

More details about this can be read in Plan to bring broadband to entire country by 2010.

The Irish Minister for Communications seemed quite ecstatic when he was announcing this yesterday. He seems to have the opinion that this will enable significant numbers of new companies to develop, and that these companies will employ many people, and this will lift Ireland out of recession. Yes, really!

I have a more sceptical view :o

From the maps that I saw in the television interviews it seems that the areas in Ireland that will benefit from this scheme are all in really rural locations (mostly the West and South-West). The population densities are very low in these areas! Also, the existing levels of business activity in these areas is extremely low! I do not think that broadband Internet access will change any of this!

So ultimately I think that this scheme means that the majority of Irish tax payers will subsidise a very small minority. I also think that people who live in these rural areas must accept that they cannot expect to have the same levels of service as people who live closer to metropolitan areas. (This of course works both ways.)

Damien Mulley also got some air-time to comment on this government initiative on the RTE news yesterday. I am not sure why, but I feel that he gave a more positive response to it in the television interview than he does on his blog article National Broadband Scheme Launch. Maybe I am wrong about this, because I only saw the television interview once.

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2 Responses to “All Ireland Broadband”

  1. Damien Mulley says:

    Yes you are wrong.

  2. Teknovis says:

    OK – my mistake!