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


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

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 –
– Copyright Financial Times Service 2016