Mar 30 2010

Eircom Broadband Update

Category: Networks,TelecomsTeknovis @ 11:33

Last night I read that Eircom will start upgrading its broadband offering. You can read more about this in either Eircom unveils ‘next-generation’ broadband or on Eircom’s site. (Unfortunately, I cannot link to it because all the links appear to require a session ID :( Stupid!)

One of the main points of this announcement is that Eircom will upgrade existing 1MB/s, 3MB/s, and 7MB/s connections to 8MB/s connections free of charge. That is good news, although I am not sure how many people really need this extra speed.

The other interesting change is that Eircom will now charge users based on the amount of traffic transferred. I realise that I do not know how much I transfer at the moment. I must investigate this on the Eircom web site :o

Finally, I agree with IrelandOffline‘s assessment that there is a lack of “next generation” about this offering! See Eircom and “next-generation” broadband.

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Mar 12 2009

Eircom Broadband in Rural Ireland

Category: NetworksTeknovis @ 23:17

Eircom has been in the news over the last few days due to its broadband strategy:

An Eircom executive has said that people in rural Ireland who live more than 5km from a telephone exchange will never get broadband.

Eircom’s Paul Bradley said that even when the local exchange is upgraded to handle broadband, a modem will not connect as the signal becomes so weak after 5km.

I must admit that I do not see what all the fuss is about. Eircom is simply stating the obvious! You can read more about this in Eircom accused of abandoning rural Ireland and Eircom broadband spend under review, committee told.

It is not clear to me why people in rural Ireland have an expectation that they should be able to avail of the same level of broadband as people who live in urban centres. Do these rural dwellers also expect the proposed Metro for Dublin to extend to their towns? Or do they expect that they can have gas connections to their houses? There are advantages and disadvantages of living in rural or urban areas, and that the associated differences must be recognised!

Indeed, the story gained enough momentum to be featured on national television this evening. You can watch it online on at Eircom re-thinking rural broadband rollout. Damien Mulley, for whom I have a lot of respect, appeared on the program. However, I disagree with him on the significance that broadband has on rural Ireland. As part of his argument he compared broadband access in rural locations in Ireland with broadband access in Amsterdam! I think that this is a very flawed comparison for the obvious reasons!

I also disagree with what Damien said about Eircom blocking access to certain web sites, and in particular, he mentioned The Pirate Bay. I am currently using Eircom to access the Internet, and I appear to have full access to The Pirate Bay. Furthermore, I previously described how many ISPs blocked access a certain web page in Extreme Child Pornography Prevention Measures, but Eircom did not, and still does not, block access to this web page.

In my opinion, it would be significantly more beneficial to Ireland to have investment into providing greater bandwidth and more services into a few well chosen urban locations. In other words, concentrate resources to create a silicon valley in Ireland, rather than create a mediocre service covering the entire country.

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Dec 07 2008

Broadband Performance in Ireland

Category: NetworksTeknovis @ 20:06

There was mainstream media coverage during the week about a report by Epitiro into broadband services in Ireland. The main finding was that the average fixed line consumer receives only 60% of the advertised bandwidth of his/her product.

This seems like very poor performance to me, so I decided to test my home broadband using Irish ISP Speed Test. I am an Eircom customer, and I am supposed to have a download speed of up to 3Mbps and an upload speed of up to 384kbps.

I conducted the first test very late at night time during the week, so I expected the results to be a best case scenario. This is what I got:

Broadband Speed Test at Night

Broadband Speed Test at Night

I conducted the second test in the middle of the afternoon during the week, so I expected the results to be a worst case scenario. This is what I got:

Broadband Speed Test in Afternoon

Broadband Speed Test in Afternoon

Based on these two tests I am getting roughly the same results in both my best case scenario and my worst case scenario. Furthermore, my real download speed and upload speed are both over 80% of the speeds that I am supposed to have. So I seem to be doing better than average!

For more details see Ireland Internet Performance Index, where you can download the full report.

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