We May Need to Change Country’s Name to Get Business Broadband
Monday 1st September 2014
There’s an old saying that you should only eat rabbit in months with an ‘R’ in it. Similarly, if you’re looking for proper broadband for business it looks like you need to live in a country with an ‘S’ in the name. South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, even the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia ranks above Ireland in terms of broadband availability depending on which measure you use.
This may come as a surprise to the Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) that issued a self-congratulatory press release today that claimed “The members of TIF are committed to ensuring that Ireland remains a globally competitive economy and this is evident in the industry’s €2.5 billion investment in Ireland’s telecommunications infrastructure over the past five years.”
It continued, “… an industry that employs 20,000 professionals, who deliver mission critical services every day. From fibre broadband rollout, to 4G capability, to data centres and cloud based services, this industry is the linchpin that provides instant connectivity to people, services, entertainment and information on demand.”
What a load of old technology. Businesses in the Midlands, businesses in Cork, businesses in the centre of Dublin, businesses across the country can’t get broadband or even a decent mobile phone signal. And that’s after the spending of the claimed money above. It looks like somebody got or gave bad value for money.
Broadband to business is like air to any living creature. In today’s mobile world a business without broadband is losing, losing, lost. If the government had just one Big Idea to cure what is a national disgrace here’s a free, quick idea from ISME. If the landscape, lack of population or some other issue is used to blame lack of coverage why don’t we do as the Singapore government has done. In Singapore, a country that is highly progressive in terms of technology, SMEs that are keen to offer wireless services at their premises can apply for a one-time subsidy capped at €1,500 to offset the cost of wireless equipment. The country gets hundreds if not thousands of wireless hotspots and businesses have something new to attract customers. Simple and it’s a start.
Or else just change the country’s name to sIreland.