National Broadband Plan in crisis as Eir poised to quit process

Eir is poised to quit the National Broadband Plan, the state-subsidised rural broadband rollout that promises to connect 540,000 households and businesses.

The move will come as a huge blow to the government’s plans on getting high-speed internet to non-urban areas.

It leaves just one remaining company, Enet, in the bidding for the state contract.

This could mean a much more expensive deal for taxpayers or the abandonment of the process altogether.

A spokesman for Eir said that he had no comment on the issue, but that the company would clarify its position shortly.

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75,000 Cork homes & businesses suffering because of delays in rolling National Broadband Plan – McGrath

75,000 homes and businesses in Cork are without high-speed broadband

Cork South Central Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath has said the government needs to press ahead with the National Broadband Plan following confirmation that 75,000 homes and businesses in Cork are without high-speed broadband – and in many cases any broadband at all – because of the government delays.

Deputy McGrath was commenting after receiving a parliamentary reply from the Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten which shows that there are 270,000 premises (including residential and business premises) in Cork, including 75,000 who will completely rely on the State-led intervention for access to high-quality broadband internet.

Deputy McGrath commented, “I am receiving regular complaints from constituents about the lack of good quality broadband and in some cases any broadband at all. This often includes people who are actually living close to a town centre. They have been badly let down by the government.

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How the loss of net neutrality could change the internet

Supporters of the repeal say it will free up internet providers to innovate, while opponents fear the online world will become more like cable TV.

The repeal of net neutrality ushers in a new chapter of the internet that could eventually transform the way Americans communicate, shop and consume information online.

The Federal Communications Commission’s party-line vote Thursday to dump the Obama-era rules, which required internet service providers to treat all Web traffic equally, opens the door for companies like Verizon and AT&T to experiment with new business models free from government regulation.

ISPs point to an array of possible pro-consumer outcomes like “family friendly” broadband packages that block content not suitable for children, or guaranteed fast speeds for health-related mobile applications. But net neutrality advocates paint an array of troubling scenarios — from smaller websites like the crafts marketplace Etsy and streaming service Vimeo forced to pay tolls to reach consumers, to cable giants like Comcast blocking or slowing disfavored sites while giving priority to their own content.

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Number of people using internet banking in Ireland more than doubles in 10 years

The number of Irish people using internet banking has more than doubled in the space of ten years.

In 2007 one in four Irish people used internet banking, while today this figure is much higher at 58pc, according to data from Eurostat.

When it comes to using the internet banking service, Irish people are slightly ahead of the European Union (EU) average of 51pc, an average figure that has also doubled in the ten year period.

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From April 2018 Eir Price Hike To Effect Majority of Its Customers

eircom Announces Price Changes

eircom has announced plans to implement a number of prices changes for residential and business customers. The price changes will be reflected in customer bills from mid April onwards and the company is notifying all impacted customers in writing. The changes are across three main areas including monthly subscription fees for bundles, call set up fees and per minute call rates for calls outside of a bundle or for customers who are charged base rates. Line rental is not impacted.

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9 of the best mesh Wi-Fi network kits

A new type of Wi-Fi router has emerged: the mesh network.

Here we round up the best mesh Wi-Fi systems that all promise whole-home wireless coverage.

Although mesh networks aren’t a new invention, this is the first year that they’ve become popular for home use. We’ve reviewed many of the new systems available in the UK including Google Wi-Fi and BT Whole Home.

What is mesh Wi-Fi?

Put simply, a mesh network is two or more routers which work together to provide much wider Wi-Fi coverage than a single router can.
Some kits have just two units and can’t be expanded, while others can be bought in one, two or three-packs and allow you to add extra coverage when you can afford it, or you need it.

Are powerline adaptors a cheaper alternative?

Yes. If you just need to get a Wi-Fi signal in one room that your current router can’t reach, you might be able to save money by buying a Wi-Fi-enabled powerline kit.

To learn more make, sure you click here and check out Jim Martin’s (Editor of Tech Advisor) reviews.

Taoiseach called on to clarify roll-out of national broadband plan.

Taoiseach called on to clarify roll-out of national broadband plan.

There are calls for ’straight-talking’ from the Taoiseach over the roll-out of the national broadband plan.

Over half a million people around the country are thought to be waiting for high-speed connections.

Fianna Fail TD Timmy Dooley says it is time for Leo Varadkar to intervene and bring clarity to these people.

“I think it is time for the Taoiseach, as head of government – who is recognised as a straight-talker and certainly identified himself as a straight-talker in the past – to come forward and identify for those 540,000 business and home-owners across the State when they can expect to see the contract signed in the first instance, when the work will begin and when the project can be brought to a conclusion,” said Deputy Dooley.

The need for high-speed broadband is as basic now as the need for a phone-line was in the past, according to Mr Dooley.

“In order to do your daily business, your daily banking, you required access to high-speed broadband,” he said.

“There are many families where the children to do their schoolwork need access to the internet in the evening.

“Students coming home from college at the weekend and want to do their reports, the farming community need it, small businesses need it.

“It is as basic now as electricity was 50-60 years ago or what a phone line was 40 years ago.”

Catch the full article here in the Breaking News
– Copyright Breaking News

Broadband deficit is holding back farming

Broadband deficit is holding back farming.

Irish farming is in danger of being left behind its European counterparts because of poor or non-existent high-speed broadband, contractors have warned.

Tom Murphy from the Professional Agricultural Contractors of Ireland (PAC) said smart farming will form part of the future of agriculture.

“If we don’t have the broadband then talking about smart farming is just a joke. We must have broadband as otherwise we can’t transmit the information back from the field. Agriculture is the biggest business by far in rural Ireland and it needs high-speed broadband and without it Irish farming will be left behind.

“If farmers and contractors don’t embrace smart farming then they’ll be left behind. It isn’t Star Wars anymore, it is reality, they are doing it on the continent and the UK and we are only scratching the surface here,” said Mr Murphy ahead of the PAC Smart Farming event at the Newpark Hotel Kilkenny on February 2.

The event will be addressed by Commissioner Phil Hogan and Communications Minister Denis Naughten on the rollout of high-speed broadband, and many international machinery experts.

Mr Murphy said many farmers would not be in a financial position to invest in the hi-tech equipment and it was likely they would turn to contractors for it.

He pointed out some farmers were already turning to hi-tech spraying and slurry-spreading technology to help cut costs by only spreading fertiliser where necessary.

Catch the full article here in the Independent
– Copyright The Independent