The exchequer, SMEs and retailers are missing out on millions of euro in potential revenue because of stalled progress on the National Broadband Plan (NBP)

The exchequer, SMEs and retailers are missing out on millions of euro in potential revenue because of stalled progress on the National Broadband Plan (NBP), according to industry figures as the Government remains coy on when the contract will finally be awarded.

Despite Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten saying the tender process for the contract was in its “final stages” in a series of answers to parliamentary questions since October 2017, there is still no date earmarked.

When asked if a timeframe for the contract to be awarded had been decided, the department said it was still in the process.

To read the full article jump over to the Irish Examiner

More than 100 Garda stations around Ireland have no internet access

A large quantity of Garda stations in Ireland are in need of an internet connection, according to Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, TD.

Ireland’s digital divide presents an array of negative consequences and it looks as if law enforcement is being hit hard by the lack of connectivity.

Many Garda stations offline

According to a report in The Times published today (16 July), out of 564 operational Garda stations, 111 are offline, with 34 due to be connected later in 2018. The lack of an internet connection means the digital PULSE (Police Using Leading Systems Effectively) information system cannot be used in these stations. The PULSE system collects and stores information about crime, firearms licensing, traffic management, driving licences, insurance and character vetting.

Check out the full article here

 

Ireland has 36th slowest broadband speed in the world

Ireland has the 36th slowest broadband speed in the world.

Annual global rates have just been published showing we are just behind the UK, and just ahead of Austria.

More than 160 million tests were carried out across 200 countries to reveal that Singapore is still the fastest country.

It is followed by Sweden, Denmark and Norway, while Yemen has the slowest broadband worldwide.

Tech expert Jess Kelly says Ireland features in the middle of the table, but there are big differences in speeds within the country.

“The average download speed is 18.22Mbps. If you ask someone in Dublin city or Cork city what their speed is, they will be up there getting almost the 200 which you pay more, which is sensational,” she said.

“The fact of the matter is, there are still large pockets of this country that do not have access to broadband, never mind your high-speed broadband.”

Credit Irish Examiner

Vision for a Digital Ireland is not a pipe dream

Unfortunately, Ireland is still a two-speed digital economy when it comes to broadband infrastructure and cloud efficiency, writes John Kennedy.

Several years ago, Siliconrepublic.com ran a monthly newspaper supplement called Digital Ireland in a national publication, and it ran for the best part of a decade.

A decade ago, as Ireland plunged into recession and people scrambled for ideas, our contribution was to encourage Ireland to play to its strengths. With the support of the leaders of the biggest tech multinationals, we campaigned for a Digital 21 Strategy, a vision of an Ireland with digital sinews that lifted all boats and prospects from connectivity to skills, education, innovation and policy.

The idea was to create something that would be budgeted and deployed, something along the lines of Transport 21.

Click over to Silconrepublic to read the full article.

Too Early to Cost Broadband Plan says McCourt

The head of the National Broadband Plan consortium has distanced himself from claims the scheme will cost €1.1bn to build.

Enet boss David McCourt was quoted in a UK magazine as saying that the €1.1bn would be divided into €100m up front each from his own Enet, SSE and UK infrastructure group John Laing, with a further €200m for design and construction and the rest in bank debt.

However, Mr McCourt says that the final sums have not yet been settled upon.

A spokeswoman for the Government said that the cost of the scheme has not yet been finalised.

“The full level of exchequer funding required for the National Broadband Plan will only be known after the procurement process has concluded,” she said.

Read the full article on Independent.ie

Rural broadband now an ’emergency’ issue, warn campaigners

Nationwide roll-out of high-speed network should be non-negotiable, says ICMSA

The government needs to hold an emergency Cabinet meeting to prove to the people of rural Ireland that it is serious about supplying broadband nationwide, Irish Rural Link CEO Seamus Boland has urged.

This comes following a report last week by the European Court of Auditors that predicted that it is “highly unlikely” that the €275m set aside by the Government to supply broadband to every home in Ireland will be enough.

At present, Enet is the only bidder left in the process that should result in 540,000 premises being connected to the National Broadband Plan, following Eir’s withdrawal from the tender in January.

Jump over to Independent.ie to read the full story

Ireland ‘unlikely’ to get 100% coverage of fast broadband by 2020

EU report blames public procurement issues for delays, with rural areas lagging behind

While Ireland has passed EU targets for universal access to basic broadband throughout the State, it will have difficulty reaching the same targets for fast broadband by 2020, and reaching even half that level of coverage for ultra-fast broadband, a report by the European Court of Auditors predicts.

Fast broadband coverage – between 30 and 100 megabits per second (mbps) – has risen sharply from 31 per cent to 89 per cent between 2011 and 2017, nine percentage points above the EU average and placing Ireland 10th in the EU league table.

But the report says that “based on past progress and present plans”, overcoming the last hurdle to get to 100 per cent coverage by 2020 is “unlikely”.

Check out the full article in The Irish Times

National Broadband Plan Hits Another Speed Bump

Conal Henry’s departure from Enet raises more questions than answers at this critical juncture.

Conal Henry’s departure from Enet raises more questions than answers at this critical juncture. And the people need answers, writes John Kennedy.

The decision of Conal Henry to step down from Enet during what seemed to be the pinnacle of his success only serves to raise more questions than answers about the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

I heard about Henry’s departure from the helm of Enet as I was traveling back from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in a race against the weather and to avoid being stranded away from home for a week.

As the plane descended on Dublin amidst a blizzard, my own mind was a-blizzard about what this could potentially mean.

It is yet another strange twist in the yet-to-begin NBP, which has up until this point sown more confusion than actually given people what they really want: connectivity.

A plan such as the NBP ought to be clear-cut and decisive. Instead, it has become a tangled web of intrigue, promises and frustration.

The departure of Eir from the NBP in recent weeks – just months after the Vodafone-ESB joint venture Siro left – from the process was not encouraging.

Either way, Communications Minister Denis Naughten, TD, was bullish at the time that the NBP would go ahead and that Enet-SSE, as the last consortium standing, would be awarded its contract in September 2018, with shovels due to hit the turf days later.

It signified a key moment of success for Henry after 12 years of stewarding the company, in terms of winning the contract to manage the 94 metropolitan area networks, and growing it from nothing into a network that includes dark fibre backhaul infrastructure transiting the rail and gas network, and three proprietary metro networks, including a 100km fibre ring in Dublin. Enet also operates one of the largest licensed wireless networks in the country.

Last week, however, Enet announced Henry’s departure.

Henry said: “After 12 years working with the wonderful team at Enet, the time has come for me to hand over the reins. I am so exceptionally proud to have been associated with this great company.”

David C McCourt, Enet’s chair, said: “Conal’s departure does not impact on Enet’s participation in the National Broadband Plan procurement process. Peter Hendrick, who is continuing as managing director for all growth initiatives for Enet, will also continue to lead the Enet team and as bid director of the Enet-SSE consortium.”

Another twist in the road to full connectivity?

After so many twists and turns in the road to 100pc broadband in Ireland – remember, shovels are not yet in the ground – you could be forgiven for suspecting that there’s more to this than meets the eye.

To read more click to view the full article on Silicon Republic

Credit SiliconRepublic.com

 

Moleskine’s latest smart pen saves your writing to download later

So long as you don’t mind paying $180 for a writing implement.

Moleskine has valiantly tried to bridge the divide between analog writing and digital files for years. The company released its Smart Writing Set in 2016 as a $200 holistic solution of pen, proprietary smart paper and app that instantly sent whatever you wrote or drew over to your paired device — which worked as long as your smartphone or tablet was nearby. But its newest writing implement, the $180 Pen+ Ellipse, liberates you from the latter need, saving all your scratchings in an offline mode until it connects to your device again.

This could actually be handy for writing in busy situations — trains, outdoors, in low-light — where pulling out your device to sync up is cumbersome. Unlike the pen that comes with the Smart Writing Set, the Pen+ Ellipse also has a little clip on the cap to slide on to your favorite notebook — though, of course, you’ll be using a $30 one from Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set line, since those are the only ones with the aforementioned Ncode smart paper. If you want to make it to the digital note-taking future, you’ll have to pay to get there.

Jump over to Engadget to learn more
Credit: Engadget

The Technology and Social Media Rules Kids and Teens Wish Their Parents Would Follow

7 general rules children wished their parents would follow

We talk often about the rules we should be setting for our children around their use of technology and social media, but here’s the rub – the way we as parents use technology can affect our children as much as their use of technology affects them. Rules around technology usage in families can be a source of angst for both parents and kids. Even when rules are agreed on, enforcing them can bring as much joy into the household as a three-day old temper.

Researchers explored technology usage rules in families, but from an angle which is rarely considered – the rules children would like their parents to follow. The study, involving 249 families with children between the ages of 10 and 17 has revealed some fascinating details.

The research found 7 general rules children wished their parents would follow.

To find out more jump over to the full article on Hey Sigmund.

Credit: Hey Sigmund