jueves, 17 de mayo de 2018

Broadband with Irish flavor



The effort of the Irish to optimize their broadband is high, as we analyze in collaboration with Aedín Dunne. Ireland currently has one of the fastest broadband speeds in the world with rural Ireland’s broadband and connection still improving by the day. 

This was not always the case however as the first ever connection known as DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) went live in 2001, just 17 years ago after internet was beginning to be used in Ireland in the 1990’s.
The DSL connection was new to many and it was a novelty to be able to use it in the first few years of its existence. However, as technology and the demand for internet improved and increased, the DSL connection was no longer be suitable for use. People began to use the internet more frequently which led to the problem of not being able to make phone calls while the internet was in use. Only one means of communication cold be used at any one time, the phone or the internet, but not both. This forced an improvement I the system and since then huge improvements have been made, and Ireland is now ranked as one of the best countries with the fastest broadband in Europe, leading to and upgrade to what Ireland now knows as Broadband., which has two separate lines which allows users to use both a telephone/landline and the internet connection simultaneously. While Broadband connection came to some towns and cities across the country in the early 2000’s, there were many areas in rural Ireland who did not receive the novelty until up to 2005/2006, with some places still receiving poor connections proving location has a major impact on the use of Broadband. 
In Ireland today, there are many options when choosing broadband with many companies offering different packages and prices to entice customers. The speed of a broadband connection is a very important factor to consider when selecting a broadband package. Today’s Internet user in not only Ireland but round the world want access to rich media websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. while the move towards watching movies and TV online. This means that speed of connection is vital for a quality, hassle-free broadband service, a quality of Irish broadband which has improved drastically over the years and continues to improve presently. Ireland’s broadband is currently ranked as one of the best in the world with broadband providers offering connections speeds of 24mbps to 360mbps with some even claiming to offer services with speeds of up to 1000mbps, although quite rare and the most expensive option. As the quality of Broadband in Ireland is one of the highest in Europe, so comes the high prices to provide this service, the second highest in the EU as reported by The Irish Times newspaper in 2016.
Ireland had received an impressive reputation for its broadband connection in recent years which has benefited the country in many ways as it has become appealing for multinational companies worldwide to set up headquarters across the country. Google, HP, Apple, IBM, Facebook, Twitter, Pfizer, Dell and many more MNC’s have set up in Ireland, creating employment and contributing massively to the Irish economy. Aside from business, broadband is essential and helpful in households every day for many reasons such as simply applying for car taxes, renewing a passport, emailing, video chatting etc. Many company calls for business people are done online with broadband being essential to have the connection and speed to support each and every task carried out by the Irish public on a daily basis. Having internet and broadband connection is vital in this age for students, teachers, lecturers etc when it comes to education as a lot of their work, assignments and research are all done online. It also allows access to websites all over the world for information, entertainment, online shopping social media platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook which these days, have created jobs for online influencers and bloggers. Job creation is a major bonus of having high quality broadband.
Broadband and internet connection in Ireland has created any jobs. As stated above, with multinational companies setting up camp in the country and providing job, there are also many other opportunities arising from it. Many Colleges/ Universities across the country provide many computer and IT courses which would not be possible without the use of the internet and the high standard of broadband provided nationwide. This helps to create not only a career for those studying but also a bright future for the world of computers, internet and broadband in Ireland.
The National Broadband Scheme was introduced in Ireland in 2012 announced by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte. Its plan was to equip 542,000 houses and businesses with a stronger and more efficient service however the scheme expired in 2014 under its provider, Three. The scheme has hoped to provide a Broadband service of between 70mbps-100mbps to more than half of the population by 2015. An updated version of the National Broadband Scheme was published in July 2016 which has been delayed and has still not been started up. Many customers in rural Ireland are feeling the repercussions of the delay and still today, have little to no connection to internet.
In Ireland we have many broadband providers to choose from such as Three, Vodafone, Sky, Virgin Media, Pure Telecom, Eir, Digiweb, Magnet.ie, Q Sat, Europasat and Imagine. Each company provides a range of different priced packages which offer different speeds of broadband and different quality, depending on the service you purchase.
Internet and broadband usage in Ireland is at an all-time high and continues to be in constant demand with the new technology fad which does not seem to be fading. Networking firm, Akamai carried out a survey in 2015 in relation to internet usage in Ireland. The results were interesting showing that Ireland has the seventh fastest broadband connection in the world, ahead of both Britain and Germany. Other studies carried out such as one in 2011 also showed that over 77% of the Irish population were availing of broadband usage and given that the most updated research done on this was almost seven years ago, it is be to no surprise that research carried out in 2015 by the CSO showed a high number of households have internet connection, at 87% of the population with the remaining 15% stated they did not have the necessary skills to use the technology required for an internet connection or they simply had no desire to use the internet or having any sort of broadband connection. 2017’s results showed that the number had increased to 89% of people availing of broadband and internet connections, a 17% increase from the results taken 2010, a clear indication of the increasing use of interent.With today’s online world having a major influence on young people especially, it would be expected that in the coming years, these numbers will only continue to rise.  
The future of Irish broadband is only getting stronger and brighter with companies improving on their services every day. Main cities and towns across the country continue to receive an improving service as the more rural areas who are still becoming new to the services as well as areas who may not have broadband finally receiving the service. The days of DSL are long gone and with today’s increasingly high demand for quality internet and broadband services, it is hard to ever comprehend how DSL was ever sufficient or if we did not have it today, how different the influence, use and quality of the broadband and our online presence could have been. 

We analyze international broadband evolution (here, the Irish case) in this blog, in Research Group about Digital Journalism and Marketing and Broadband and in Research Group on Innovative Monetization Systems of Digital Journalism, Marketing and Tourism (SIMPED), from CECABLE,  Escola Universitària Mediterrani of UdGUPF and Blanquerna-URL, in Twitter (@CECABLEresearch), Google+, in the group of LinkedIn, in the page of LinkedIn, in the group of Facebook, in Instagram (CECABLE), in Pinterest and in this blog. We will go in deep in the XXIV Cable and Broadband Catalonia Congress (April 2019, Barcelona). 


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