Longford broadband ‘not spot’

News that Legan, Co Longford has the slowest broadband speed  in the country has not come as a surprise to locals.

In new data, released by comparison site Switcher, it was revealed that Longford’s broadband is the slowest in the country, with an average speed of 7.25Mbps. The slowest broadband area was Legan, with an average download speed of 1.98Mbps, compared to the 72.15Mbps recorded by the fastest area in the country; Drimnagh, Dublin 12.

It was further revealed that Legan’s broadband speed is almost 12 times slower than the national average.

“Broadband has been an issue in south Longford for years,” revealed Legan native, Cllr Paul Ross.

“We are not surprised to see what has come out in the media today as it has been a problem for years.”

Cllr Ross said such was the slow nature of the broadband speed, a local grocery store was unable to facilitate customers in their attempts to pay for their bin service charges.

“Mulleady’s use a top up system but the local shop in Legan can’t provide that because the laser company Mulleady’s work with use a fixed line broadband connection and we (Legan) haven’t got that.”

Cllr Ross said the absence of such a service was not only hindering local businesses in their efforts to make ends meet, but was also forcing local homeowners to do their shopping elsewhere. The Fine Gael councillor said of more immediate concern was the fact some some former parishioners had been forced to sell their homes in a bid to access higher broadband speeds.

“Every house in this day and age needs broadband especially when children are now using iPads at school and more people are using Facebook, emails and downloading various types of data.

“And I know of two families who had been commuting to Dublin and looked to work one day a week at home but who sold their house because they can’t do their work from home,” he said.

For more on this, see www.longfordleader.ie

Slow Cork Broadband

DROMAHANE in north Cork was ranked as one of the five worst locations in the country for broadband speed.

The village has a broadband speed of 5.28Mbs, much slower than the Cork average of 17.08Mbs. Dublin has by far the fastest broadband speed, averaging 44.85mbs. One-in-three people say they may have to move to counties in Ireland to get better broadband.

The Vodafone poll also revealed that 70% of small Irish firms have rated their broadband infrastructure as poor.

A separate study from website Switcher.ie carried out 26,829 tests and found that a third of customers had speeds of less than 5Mbs per second, leaving them unable to perform even some basic online tasks.

Catch the full article in the Evening Echo.

Disgrace of rural broadband as one in three struggles just to get email

Shocking broadband surveys suggest there is a crisis in rural areas, with large parts of the country at breaking point due to unusable connections.

A Switcher.ie survey of 27,000 internet users revealed that some areas of Ireland are struggling with speeds insufficient to load email messages or perform basic Google searches.

A separate poll from Vodafone suggests that more than one in three Irish people said they might have to relocate to a nearby town or city for work reasons if connectivity remains poor.

In all, more than one in three of the 26,829 tests logged by Switcher.ie showed download speeds of under five megabits per second (Mbs), which is inadequate to perform most online tasks in a typical household or small business.

The worst area in Ireland is Legan in Longford, which has an average download speed of under 2Mbs, according to the survey. The Longford townland is 36 times slower than parts of Dublin, where download speeds average up to 72Mbs.

It comes after a separate Vodafone survey claimed that seven out of 10 small Irish firms were being held back by poor broadband infrastructure.

Catch the full article here on Independant.ie – http://bit.ly/2fbXgvN

Article by Adrian Weckler

Virgin Media Ireland prices will increase from January

Typical bundle will cost €4 more a month from new year as broadband bills rise again.

Virgin Media Ireland is putting its prices up in January for the second time in less than a year for many of its subscribers.

The broadband, cable television and telecoms provider is in the process of informing its customers of the price rises by email or letter.

Broadband prices will rise by €2.50 a month, while the cost of television packages will climb by €1.50 a month. Subscribers with television and broadband bundles will see their bills go up by €4 a month, Virgin Media said.

Virgin broadband bundle subscribers previously saw their bills increase by €5 in March, meaning their bills will have increased by €9 a month when the new prices kick in from January.

Catch the full article here in the Irish Times.
– Story by Laura Slattery

New digital hub to be developed in Cavan Town

Plans are advancing to develop a ‘Digital Hub’ in Cavan Town with a view to nurturing tech-based start-ups, providing supports for existing businesses in the county and ultimately creating jobs as establishing Cavan as a leading location in this field.

The Anglo-Celt understands that a deal to secure a location for the digital hub is nearing conclusion with some sources suggesting that the Cavan Further Education and Training campus (former army barracks) on the Dublin Road is among the contenders.

Aimed at promoting job creation and innovation, the proposed hub is a major factor in the county’s ‘Digital Strategy’, of which Cavan County Council and Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board are key stakeholders.

This newspaper understands that substantive groundwork has already been done, with entrepreneurs and digital ambassadors with connections to the region, all sounded out for their input.

From ‘Get Connected’ networking events earlier this year, several companies, including one with links to California, are understood to have expressed keen interest in setting up in the county should the hub get up and running.

Boosted by the fact that Cavan was chosen as one of 10 towns to be among Ireland’s first Gigabit towns or ‘fibrehoods’ under SIRO’s 1GB Broadband Network, the aim is to emulate the success of the first rurally-based digital hub the Ludgate in Skibbereen, west Cork, which was officially opened in July of this year. Pioneering in the fast-paced world of new tech start-up, within weeks of the Ludgate opening, it had 20 permanent tenants and more than 100 members who use it on a part-time basis. Up to half of those are employees of large multinationals such as Google, Facebook and Pfizer working in the city.

“Success breeds success,” says Richard Stafford of Apridata Limited, a Cavan-based data analysis and data management solutions. He believes a dedicated base for digital business workers in the county would help spearhead a digital revolution within the county.

Catch the full article here in the Anglo Celt.
– Story by Seamus Enright

You can take the Web Summit out of Ireland…

The Web Summit got off to a mixed start in Lisbon tonight when the venue’s wifi cut out on stage just as founder Paddy Cosgrave tried a live demonstration..

“I don’t think it’s working,” said Mr Cosgrave from the stage in front of an estimated 15,000 attendees.

Video By: Alan Weckler

“Let’s not worry about that. We’ll try again later.”

The glitch came just as Cosgrave was introducing the Portugese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa.

A later attempt at performing the onstage demonstration succeeded.

A spokeswoman for the Web Summit later said that the initial demonstration did not fail because of wifi but because of “a glitch in Paddy’s phone”.

Wifi strength has been the bane of the Web Summit’s existence in its seven years since it originally kicked off as a small conference of 400 people in Dublin.

Two years ago, the wifi collapsed in the RDS causing a debate between Web Summit organisers and the venue.

This year’s event was forced to delay its kickoff by 30 minutes after a surge of late entrants. Mr Cosgrave said that 3,000 people didn’t make it into the 15,000-seater Meo arena, where the conference’s main stage is located.

Catch the full article here in the Irish Independent
– Copyright Adrian Weckler

Aer Lingus to provide wifi on short-haul flights

Airline’s parent IAG to roll-out 4G services next year, with goal of 90% of fleet by 2019

Aer Lingus is to introduce high-speed inflight wifi for passengers on short-haul flights from next year after agreeing a deal with provider Inmarsat.

The airline’s parent International Airlines Group (IAG) said up to 341 of its aircraft, including 39 Aer Lingus A320s, will be fitted with Inmarsat’s next generation services to provide a 4G broadband network for passengers. The service will give passengers broadband internet access across multiple mobile devices with connection speeds similar to what they have at home.

The first short-haul aircraft equipped with wifi connectivity – a British Airways A321 – will be in service next summer. Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vuelingaircraft will follow later in 2017.

IAG said it is aiming to have wifi connectivity available on 90 per cent of its fleet of 541 aircraft by 2019.

Catch the full article here in the Irish Times.
– Copyright Charlie Taylor

Neighborhood

For just over quarter (27%) of people, loneliness is the biggest fear about growing old in their community.

Safety and security (22%) and lack of access to health services (21%) also featured prominently. Fear of isolation is more is more of a concern in urban areas (33% compared to 21% in rural areas) with lack of medical facilities more of a concern in rural areas (27% in rural versus just 14% in urban). The research which was conducted by Calor and Macra Ne Feirme marks the launch of the ‘Know Your Neighbour’ winter campaign.

The campaign encourages people, all over the country, to reach out to their neighbours. This is particularly important during the winter when almost two thirds (63%) of people feel it if more important to have a stronger sense of community during dark winter evenings.

Other findings from the Know your Neighbour research included:

The biggest concerns of those living in rural communities is the lack of access to broadband (21%), followed by lack of opportunity to progress (14%), emigration of younger community members (13%) and the welfare and safety of elderly community members (13%).

Catch the full article in the Western People  |  Monday, 31 October 2016  |  Page: 49

Broadband ‘paying off in schools but challenges remain’

High-speed broadband is paying off for teaching and learning in second-level schools – but teachers and students still face many challenges around the use of computers in the classroom.

A new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) highlights how Irish education still has a way to go to integrate technology into daily school life.

According to the report there are a “number of persistent challenges that are likely to hinder further progress”, including the need for more investment in infrastructure, better technical support and more teacher training.

It says classroom usage of the new technologies varies considerably across schools and is heavily influenced by the support offered by school leadership.

Researchers looked at the experience of 400 second-level schools, with an in-depth study of 10 schools, after they had received the reliable internet connection through the Schools 100Mbps Project.

The report put a particular focus on the views of students, which tend to be largely absent from studies about the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education.

Catch the full article here in the Irish Independant
– Copyright Katherine Donnelly

Google Fiber confirms roll-out stop, CEO Barratt leaves

Google has confirmed a slowdown in the development of its fibre broadband roll-out in the US while it considers alternative access technologies.

The company said it will continue the roll-out in cities where it’s already operating or started deployment, but talks in other places on its longer list of potential coverage areas will stop.

Google said the break is needed to “refine its approach” and “stay ahead of the curve — pushing the boundaries of technology, business, and policy”. Without providing many details, the company said its revised plan “enhances our focus on new technology and deployment methods to make superfast internet more abundant than it is today”.

It also means the resignation of Craig Barratt, who has headed the fibre activities as CEO of Access at Alphabet. Google did not comment on his successor. Barratt delivered the news in a blog post, saying the fibre business is “solid” and continues to grow customers and revenues quickly.

Catch the full article here in the Telecompaper
– Copyright Telecompaper