Vodafone to hike broadband prices

Householders who have broadband from Vodafone are being hit with price hikes.

The telecoms giant is increasing prices by up to €84 a year.
And it is ending some of its older mobile phone plan deals.

The company confirmed that broadband prices are rising by between €5 and €7 a month from the first day of November. One frustrated customer explained that his ‘Simply Broadband’ deal with the telecoms company will go from €38 a month to €45. “That is just under a 20pc increase to the price I agreed to 10 months ago when I signed a 12-month contract,” he said.

In a statement, the company said: “This adjustment is in response to increased operational costs, primarily due to the rise in wholesale prices.”

It added that the price of its recently added TV, broadband, home and mobile package will not be affected by the increase.

Catch the full article here in the Irish Independant
– Copyright Charles Weston

Further wait for rural broadband rollout

The delayed National Broadband Plan could face further rollout setbacks as one million homes and businesses are left waiting, Communications Minister Denis Naughten has admitted.

Mr Naughten said building may now not start until late 2017, almost a year after the project was due to kick off. The scheme was set to begin next June after a previous delay of six months was announced. However, almost one million homes and businesses may have to wait longer to see the project get under way.

“We will hopefully be rolling out the contract in the second half of next year,” said Mr Naughten.

“We hope at the end of next year that you will be able to put your Eircode into our website and you will know when you’re getting your broadband.”

A further delay in starting a buildout of the broadband scheme could see some homes and businesses waiting until 2023 to see modern communications systems arrive in their areas. By then, Ireland’s broadband infrastructure may be out of date, with a new push by the European Union to set 100Mbs as a continent-wide standard, over three times the 30Mbs speed being promised by the Government under the current plan.

Under the National Broadband Plan, 927,000 homes and businesses in rural areas and on the fringes of towns are to receive a broadband connection of at least 30Mbs.

Catch the full article here in the Irish Independant
– Copyright Adrian Weckler and Paul Melia

Coding may be introduced in primary schools

Coding may be introduced in primary schools.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has been asked to consider how to introduce the teaching of coding in primary schools by Minister for Education Richard Bruton.

The council is currently reviewing the primary school syllabus and is developing a new primary maths curriculum.

In a letter to the NCCA, Mr Bruton has requested that particular consideration be given to ensuring that children have an opportunity to develop the flexible and creative thinking skills that are the basis of computer science and coding.

The NCCA is working on a new maths curriculum for primary schools and it hopes to introduce a draft version by next spring.

Catch the full article here on the RTE Mobile – RTE Mobile
– Copyright RTE Mobile

Alphabet changes focus of high-speed internet to wireless

Google Fiber puts fibre projects on hold while turning attention to wireless technology.

Alphabet is switching the focus of its high-speed internet plans to wireless technology, in order to accelerate a project to improve connections across the US that has taken six years to reach just six cities.

Google Fiber, Alphabet’s fibre-to-the-premises service in the United States is turning its attention to wireless, which requires less expensive and time-consuming construction work, and putting fibre projects on pause in Portland, Oregon, and San Jose in Silicon Valley. It is also changing its broadband strategy in the newest cities to join the programme.

The move comes after the company in June acquired Webpass, a wireless provider that operates in five major markets in the US including the Bay Area, California, and Chicago. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, was designed to help Google reach more cities more quickly.

Catch the full article here on the Irish Times – http://www.irishtimes.com
– Copyright Financial Times Service 2016

Boost for South East Broadband Blackspots

Wexford’s broadband black spots will no longer have to wait for High Speed Broadband, that’s according to Imagine.

They’ve announced the first 210 town lands in the county, that have been waiting for high speed broadband, will be connected to Imagine’s New National LTE Fibre Network.

Speaking of the announcement Brian O’Donohoe, Commercial Director of Imagine said

“LTE is a game changer in delivering high speed broadband service to Regional and Rural Ireland. In Australia, Germany, France, China and Japan LTE is used as an alternative or to replace existing copper lines to deliver NGA broadband services and is the quickest and most efficient way to meet the demand and need in Rural and Regional Ireland.”

Catch the full article here on beat102013.com – http://www.beat102103.com/

Rural communities need broadband now, say Cllrs

It’s unacceptable that there is no broadband in the village of Castletown Geoghegan and other rural communities, a Westmeath county councillor says.

Speaking at the April meeting of the Mullingar Municipal District, Fine Gael’s Cllr Andrew Duncan said that the lack of adequate broadband coverage is a “massive issue” in the affected communities.

Cllr Una D’Arcy said that the provision of adequate broadband is as important to today’s rural communities as the electrification programme was in the past.

The lack of adequate broadband in many parts of north Westmeath is preventing many small businesses from expanding, she said.

Catch the full article here on the westmeathexaminer.ie – http://bit.ly/298JB6g

Slower broadband and lack of job opportunities frustrate rural dwellers.

Aspects of life that frustrate rural dwellers are slower broadband (63%) and a lack of job opportunities (45%), according to research by Macra na Feirme for its ‘Know Your Neighbour’ campaign.

The campaign, which is in partnership with Calor, aims to bring everyone together at community events, to get to know these neighbours and establish a strong support network, Macra President Sean Finan has said.

A lack of amenities (59%) and a lack of local infrastructure (48%) are also among the grievances of rural dwellers. Read more

Google Backs Wireless

Google Backs Wireless as it acquires Wireless Company Webpass to deliver on its US Fibre Speed Broadband Roll Out. Webpass has deployed its ‘superfast’ connections in five US markets.

Hoping Google Fiber will come your way soon? The Alphabet subsidiary just made an acquisition that could help it roll out high speed internet faster. It agreed to purchase Webpass, a company that currently has “tens of thousands” of customers for high speed internet in the Bay Area, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Miami.

Webpass is notable because it’s used high-speed point-to-point wireless technology as well as fiber to link up apartment buildings and businesses without having to wait for a physical link, and offers its customers speeds of up to 1Gbps.

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Catch the full article here on the Irish Times – http://engt.co/28QqqTs

Article by Richard Lawler, @Rjcc

State may need to extend National Broadband Plan

Up to 80,000 homes unable to connect to broadband networks without costly interventions.

The Government may be forced to extend the reach of its broadband scheme because of the large number of homes being left with sub-standard services in areas supplied by commercial operators.

Sources suggest up to 80,000 homes, not included in the National Broadband Plan (NBP), cannot be connected to broadband networks in their areas for a variety of reasons without costly interventions.

The crux of the issue lies in the difference between “premises passed” by the new technology, the phrase industry uses, and those that can be connected to it, the threshold the Government insists upon.

Companies usually run their new fibre technologies to a cabinet at street level, but not all homes can access the cabinet, either because of geography or because their original copper connections have degraded.

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Catch the full article here on the Irish Times – http://bit.ly/1Qefs8W

Article by Eoin Burke Kennedy

priests rural broadband imagine-lte

Priests: Lack of broadband in rural Ireland a ‘scandal’

Parish priest outlines necessities of Government investments in “essential services” like Broadband.

The lack of broadband in some parts of rural Ireland is having a severely negative impact on local communities, priests working at the coalface have warned.

Fr John Joe Duffy, parish priest in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal, told The Irish Catholic that the “present lack of broadband is having a severely negative impact on local families and businesses”.

“Broadband is extremely slow in some areas and almost non-existent in some parts of the county. It’s having a severely negative impact on Co. Donegal. It’s hampering development and job creation and stifling growth,” he insisted.

Fr Duffy said that without sufficient investment in “essential services”, such as broadband, by the Government, certain parts of rural Ireland would be “left behind”.

“There is great talk about recovery but it’s very much two-tiered from what I can see. There are places in some parts of the country that are being provided with services but there seems to be an overall lack of commitment to providing essential services such as broadband in rural parts of Ireland,” he said.

Sociologist Fr Micheál Mac Gréil SJ described the lack of broadband in certain parts of country as a “scandal”.

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Catch the full article here on the Irish Catholic – http://bit.ly/269bN05

Article by Cathal Barry @cathalbarryic