Broadband - are rural people being "thrown under a bus" by the government?


davidcameron

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Adrian Weckler: Dublin politicians must not relegate country areas to a communications Stone Age - Independent.ie

No broadband for you in the countryside, or in small towns. No broadband for your kids, for your farms.

It's OK, though. There'll be broadband for me, and for Leo Varadkar and for Richard Bruton. And for the vast majority of those who are advising now to "steady the ship" and "pause the process".

That's because, for the first time in the history of the National Broadband Plan (NBP), both the Taoiseach and Communications Minister are Dublin-based. As are virtually all of the pundits and policymakers.

Add the Finance Minister to that list (all three ministers live within 8km of each other, in a superb broadband zone) and you now have a noticeable absence of rural sensibility at the top of this process.

True, both Mr Varadkar and Mr Bruton might reasonably say theirs is a national party with a lot of rural voters.

But it's still worth considering that neither has a single constituent who will be affected if the NBP is scrapped or delayed.

To them, other political considerations may now take on more prominence when weighing the pros and cons of proceeding, especially with a general election possible early next year.

Even if the NBP's auditor, Peter Smyth, gives the process the go-ahead after searching for potential improper meetings between the last communications minister, Denis Naughten, and the head of the bid consortium, David McCourt, other potential barriers are currently being floated.

A front page newspaper story last week suggested unnamed politicians are worried of a possible €3bn cost to the NBP.

There was no further detail or substance given to the claim, which is far outside any estimate that informed industry or department officials have mooted, publicly or privately.

However, the figure may serve to scare urban voters, or attempt to suggest to town-based voters who have broadband that it may not be worth their taxpayers' money to subsidise the houses down the road who have to do without.
Do government ministers and urban people who use the Internet not care about rural people's inability to access broadband? If they don't care, then why?

After all, many urban people have relatives who live in the countryside and so they might care about whether the relatives can get broadband.

Furthermore, rural people also elect TDs, who would raise the issue in the Dail. So I don't see how failing to provide broadband to rural people could not cause a public outcry.

Can rural people who need broadband to be able to do commercial business, e.g. shop owners, take a case against the government in the European Court of Justice to force the government to resolve the urban/rural broadband divide?
 

wexfordman

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Adrian Weckler: Dublin politicians must not relegate country areas to a communications Stone Age - Independent.ie



Do government ministers and urban people who use the Internet not care about rural people's inability to access broadband? If they don't care, then why?

After all, many urban people have relatives who live in the countryside and so they might care about whether the relatives can get broadband.

Furthermore, rural people also elect TDs, who would raise the issue in the Dail. So I don't see how failing to provide broadband to rural people could not cause a public outcry.

Can rural people who need broadband to be able to do commercial business, e.g. shop owners, take a case against the government in the European Court of Justice to force the government to resolve the urban/rural broadband divide?

Rural broadband must be delivered. It's an essential service at this point, for commerce, education, news, government services, health, security, assisted living, communications and of course p.ie


It's time to bite the bullet, this needs to get done.
 

wombat

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Do government ministers and urban people who use the Internet not care about rural people's inability to access broadband? If they don't care, then why?
2 different questions - govt ministers care because they are faced with a mess that needs solving. Urban people are like rural people who have the internet, they don't think about those who don't. This has the potential to be the biggest scam since land drainage, every gombeen in the country will want part of the govt scheme.
 

niall78

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The fruits of privatisation are still working there way through the Irish system.

Remember people. The private market cures all ills. If you don't believe me try looking it up on the internet from two miles outside any urban area in Ireland.
 

raetsel

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Money is finite and unless country dwellers are proposing to pay for it themselves then, they will have to have patience.
Many people choose to live in sparsely populated rural areas, and enjoy the benefits that go along with that, but they cannot expect to be fast-tracked for all the advantages that urban settings enjoy due to economies of scale.
I live in a medium sized town. It would be great if the authorities decided to build a university here, where kids could attain degrees locally. (It would have saved me the many thousands of pounds that I forked out for accommodation for my kids in London and Belfast.) Next we'd like a world class hospital offering all the latest transplant surgery etc. so that we don't have to travel far to visit our seriously ill relatives. We'd like 10,000 seater stadium here also to host concerts by the world's top stars as well. :)
But it isn't going to happen.
People who choose to live in rural settings need to temper their expectations a little, sometimes. Because others foot the bill for these things.
 

truthisfree

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Adrian Weckler: Dublin politicians must not relegate country areas to a communications Stone Age - Independent.ie



Do government ministers and urban people who use the Internet not care about rural people's inability to access broadband? If they don't care, then why?

After all, many urban people have relatives who live in the countryside and so they might care about whether the relatives can get broadband.

Furthermore, rural people also elect TDs, who would raise the issue in the Dail. So I don't see how failing to provide broadband to rural people could not cause a public outcry.

Can rural people who need broadband to be able to do commercial business, e.g. shop owners, take a case against the government in the European Court of Justice to force the government to resolve the urban/rural broadband divide?
Telephone lines were rolled out to everyone in rural Ireland, Broadband will have to follow suit. It's an essential service.
 

wombat

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Telephone lines were rolled out to everyone in rural Ireland, Broadband will have to follow suit. It's an essential service.
You must be very young, there was a 3 year waiting list for telephones until the late 70's in every part of the state.
 

truthisfree

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You must be very young, there was a 3 year waiting list for telephones until the late 70's in every part of the state.
Trust me I'm not Wombat, waited three years for a telephone line, now waiting how long for broadband?
 

Spanner Island

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Having spent years in a broadband black hole while watching endless adverts for ever increasing speeds elsewhere I can fully sympathise with those who remain in such a position...

It is irritating beyond description to be unable to access decent broadband while watching such adverts and being encouraged to do more and more online and ditch paper bills and all the rest of it...

Vodafone's current gigabit advert must have people without broadband tearing their hair out...

Big mistake selling off the infrastructure all those years ago when Mary O'Rourke and the eFFing traitors basically gave it away in order to sweeten what was an unattractive IPO of Eircom... an IPO that would have fallen flat on its face without the inclusion of the infrastructure... and which even with it was a shambolic privatisation.

I remember speaking to an eFFing traitor way back then about my own frustrations... and he couldn't have been less interested...

Broadband is a necessity these days and has been for years now, and it should be treated as such... and politicians need to get their fingers out of their holes and ensure it's delivered and delivered fast.
 

wombat

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Broadband is a necessity these days and has been for years now, and it should be treated as such... and politicians need to get their fingers out of their holes and ensure it's delivered and delivered fast.
Like city water, rural broadband should be paid for by someone else.
 

wombat

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I expect they'd pay for the service just like everyone else...
That's the problem, it can't be delivered as cheaply as it can be delivered in cities, users won't pay the commercial cost so the state will have to subsidise them, the question is how big should the subsidy be?
 

Spanner Island

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That's the problem, it can't be delivered as cheaply as it can be delivered in cities, users won't pay the commercial cost so the state will have to subsidise them, the question is how big should the subsidy be?
Dunno but if the state is going to continue withdrawing from brick and mortar spaces where various services are provided while encouraging/forcing us all to increasingly interact with the state online... then the state is going to have to enable people to interact with the state online...
 

wombat

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Dunno but if the state is going to continue withdrawing from brick and mortar spaces where various services are provided while encouraging/forcing us all to increasingly interact with the state online... then the state is going to have to enable people to interact with the state online...
Unfortunately we are the only source of revenue the state has. I could see a role for rural post offices as an interim solution.
 

wexfordman

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Money is finite and unless country dwellers are proposing to pay for it themselves then, they will have to have patience.
Many people choose to live in sparsely populated rural areas, and enjoy the benefits that go along with that, but they cannot expect to be fast-tracked for all the advantages that urban settings enjoy due to economies of scale.
I live in a medium sized town. It would be great if the authorities decided to build a university here, where kids could attain degrees locally. (It would have saved me the many thousands of pounds that I forked out for accommodation for my kids in London and Belfast.) Next we'd like a world class hospital offering all the latest transplant surgery etc. so that we don't have to travel far to visit our seriously ill relatives. We'd like 10,000 seater stadium here also to host concerts by the world's top stars as well. :)
But it isn't going to happen.
People who choose to live in rural settings need to temper their expectations a little, sometimes. Because others foot the bill for these things.
A pretty weak argument overall.

10,000 seater stadiums, and world.class hospitals are not what is being asked for. 10,000 seater stadiums and world class hospitals are not something that are required every day of our lives.

Patience is needed you say ? We are on, I think the third givenrment funded broadband scheme, broadband is a 20yesr old service now. This particular one has been in development for over 4 years, with constant delays and deferrals

My point in my first post in this thread stands, broadband acess is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.
 

PBP voter

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Another fine mess caused by the people who insist on living in a once off house.
 

Sync

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No more loss making bus routes in the country please. And if we're sending them out there to run the ruralites over, that just means even LESS people on the buses.
 

raetsel

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A pretty weak argument overall.

10,000 seater stadiums, and world.class hospitals are not what is being asked for. 10,000 seater stadiums and world class hospitals are not something that are required every day of our lives.

Patience is needed you say ? We are on, I think the third givenrment funded broadband scheme, broadband is a 20yesr old service now. This particular one has been in development for over 4 years, with constant delays and deferrals

My point in my first post in this thread stands, broadband acess is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.
A necessity? There are many thousands of people, particularly among the older population who wouldn't know how to switch a laptop on, who get on fine without it, and who'd be baffled by that assertion. It's very, very useful, but it is hardly an absolute necessity. It's far more of a luxury than the provision of decent hospital care, and as I understand it there are still people lying on hospital trollies whose interests are a far bigger priority.
The delay obviously has to do with cost, and without knowing what the figures are, and what else would need to be sacrificed in the government's annual budget, nobody can say with certainty what sort of precedence this needs to be given. But clearly, while there are people waiting to be moved from hospital corridors into a proper ward, broadband is not the number one priority.
 

brujon

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So simple to do. Do a deal with eir who have infrastructure (poles,underground ducts etc) even into the remotest parts of rural Ireland.Forget about competition in these areas-there is none. All the other operators wouldn't know or want to know what a pole route looked like.They just want to piggy back on infrastructure if Eir build it.As for 100mbs - pie in the sky in these areas 20mbs is perfectly suitable for 95 per cent of domestic and business clients in rural Ireland .Anyone that wants higher, pay for the infrastructure ie fibre,radio or satellite. And if Europe complain ask for 100 per cent subsidization.Simple even for a FG Minister.
 
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