domingo, 6 de septiembre de 2020

Development of Broadband in Rural and Urban Irish Areas


Broadband in Ireland is now considered one of the fastest in the world. And while this might be true for our major cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway, broadband connectivity and speed in rural Irish areas has great potential for improvement. 




For the last 19 years since the first DSL connection went live in Ireland, great lengths have been taken to increase connectivity for the greater population in rural areas. We analyse it in collaboration with Aileen O'Shea. Broadband is becoming more and more of a necessity in our day to day lives, workwise and personally.


While broadband and internet services have been in use in Ireland for many years now, and while they have improved greatly in recent years, there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made in this area in Ireland for us to be ranked next to our European counterparts. 


When internet was first introduced to Ireland it was kept very small and was used mainly by universities and large business like most countries. The telecommunications line at Trinity College Dublin was Ireland’s first internet provider and proved a brilliant asset for the university as well as the country. In June 1991 Ireland was Trinity brought Ireland into the internet era, with University College Dublin following suit a few weeks later. 




Since 1991 we have seen increasingly positive results and a gradual improvement in our broadband services in Ireland. In 2001 Ireland’s first DSL (digital subscriber line) connection went live. These connected computers to phone wires, which were installed in most Irish homes in the early 2000s. Although these worked well for many years, there were a few issues people encountered. One was when using a DSL, it meant having to unplug the phone line. You could only choose one or the other causing problems in homes for people as it was very inconvenient. Broadband was to next alternative that came along. However, it was not at the standard that we have today and is still improving to this day. 

Broadband has improved and is much more efficient and reliable today compared to when it was first installed. The south and the west of Ireland are the two areas of Ireland of Ireland that lack the fast broadband service that the rest of the country is privileged to. This is due to mountainous landscapes and valleys in the area. Homes built in these places struggle to get a fast connection if any. Up until last year we lacked a fast broadband connection as phone service was also very poor. Some areas in rural Ireland in the south still lack phone service inhibiting a good broadband connection. After many years of trying to secure good connections the Regional Authority who were responsible for delivering on the broadband issue, decided satellite broadband was a step in the right direction for rural areas in Cork and Kerry in the south. There are many advantages as well as disadvantages to this. It does not require a lot of investment meaning a lot of people can access it for relatively cheap. It is also the fastest way people in rural areas can access broadband. Many homes in rural Ireland are still being subjected to DSL as broadband connections are not good enough in their area. 

These areas of Ireland with little to no connectivity are often called blackspots. Rural Ireland has become of the biggest infrastructural projects in recent years. This includes getting rural broadband to the standard of urban areas. One of the main reasons for this, as well as the obvious household need, is the need for it in schools. Many schools in the countryside are forced to spend money unnecessarily on supplies like white boards and books as they do not have the privilege of a good broadband connection. This is a vital resource for schools and should be ensured for all children for the improvement of their education. 

While Ireland has progressed in leaps and bounds since June 1991, there is still a lot of headway to be made in this area and it seems to have been put on the back burner of the Irish government. It is an obvious statement to make that larger urban areas have faster connection and better internet services than the rest of rural Ireland. This is true for most countries across the globe. This however has led to our downfall in overall rankings. 

In 2019, Ireland 34th out of 178 countries in a worldwide speed internet test. This is a 3-ranking improvement from the previous year. This test measures both upload and download speed in MB per second of fixed broadband in each country. This ranking puts Ireland in the top 20% in the world. This being a great achievement does not hide the many downfalls that Irish internet connectivity faces. 

This test showed individual results also showing what we need to focus on more in the future. Following the study in 2019 it shows that our download speed is significantly faster than our upload speed. This is a purposeful result as Irish people are more focused on downloading than uploading content. We currently have a download speed of 70.61mbps. This result my elate us Irish as we have a faster download speed than our neighbors in England who have a speed of 62mbps. Our mobile area is something we should be content with meaning focus should be put back on extending connection in rural areas in Ireland. 

The lack of focus on rural broadband development has many negative effects on our economy and development of it in countryside regions. Because of our low corporation tax of 12.5% many international companies like Google, Apple and Facebook have come to Ireland. But because of the lack infrastructure in rural areas, including broadband, they are slow to migrate to these rural areas. This is one of the ways in which development has been uneven in Ireland. It is obvious that the development of broadband is necessary for life to move forward in the modern world. It is needed for work, communication, education and many other aspects of life in society today. 

Delivering high-speed broadband to all parts of the country is the main priority. This is done through many state and commercial investments. The plan for improving broadband is split into initiatives. The first is the National Broadband Plan. The aim of our government for this plan is that all areas of Ireland, rural and urban, will have access to high-speed broadband, improving the working life and infrastructure of our country.  

Speed of internet is probably the most important factor that potential customers look at when choosing a broadband provider. Internet users today are looking for high-speed internet to cope with the many streaming services and social media platforms being used by the average Irish person as well as globally. Thankfully in Ireland today there are many different companies and providers offering numerous plans and packages, like Sky, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Three. This ensures that you can get the best internet connection possible in your area. 

We have also seen uneven performances regarding development of broadband, not only in rural areas but in different sectors. Ireland has had slower broadband development compared to the rest of the EU, but we have had faster development of mobile internet (80% penetration). I think in the future focus should be shifted back to broadband development in order to compete with other EU countries. The Celtic Tiger was the last time we saw a major boost in broadband development as we needed it for the increase in MNCs in the country. 

Ireland has come a long way since we first got broadband many years ago. Despite this there is still a lot that needs to improve for Irish people in regards broadband and connectivity. People lacking service and broadband in their homes today is unheard of in other countries and shouldn’t be accepted in Ireland either. In order for rural areas in our country to progress as much as our cities have we need to improve the infrastructure and raise the standard of our broadband services. Not just for businesses but for the ordinary Irish person as well. 

We analyze international broadband and HbbTV evolution (here, the case of Ireland) 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 CECABLEEscola Universitària Mediterrani of UdGUPF and Blanquerna-URL, in Twitter (@CECABLEresearch), 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 XXV Cable and Broadband Catalonia Congress (Barcelona).

40 comentarios:

  1. Bonito análisis. Muchas gracias por vuestra tarea en pro de la divulgación de las telecomunicaciones y el periodismo.

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  2. Quina anàlisi més interessant! Enhorabona, Dr. Fondevila!

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  3. trayente artículo sobre la evolución de la banda ancha en Irlanda, en cual habla sobre el desarrollo que ha tenido desde 1991. A día de hoy Irlanda cuenta como uno de los países más bien conectados del mundo, pese a las zonas rurales y aisladas, que forman este país, como por ejemplo Cork y Kerry. Lo más relevante de este artículo ha sido la trayectoria tan cambiante y favorecedora de la banda ancha/internet tanto en el ámbito escolar como en laboral e individual.

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    Respuestas
    1. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Andrea! La clave es conseguir el equilibrio territorial.

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  4. L'article ens posa d'exemple Irlanda en el tema de la banda ampla, en els darrers anys concretament fa 19 enrere, va començar la començar la connectivitat de xarxa, es va fer molts esforços per poder implentar aquest servei en zones rurals. Es imprecindible tenir banda ampla per poder treballar o per navegar a nivell d'usuari.La velocitat d’Internet és un factor important que els clients potencials consideren a l’hora d’escollir un proveïdor de banda ampla. Irlanda no ha sigut un pais que hagi sigut ràpid en la implementació d'aquesta tecnologia. Però ha tingut un desenvolupament més ràpid d’internet mòbil (80%) . Va quedar en el número 34 del ranking en la prova mundial que van realitzar.

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    Respuestas
    1. Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari! La banda ampla en mobilitat és un desllorigador atractiu, que amb el 5G pot arribar a provocar algun "gap" tecnològic i un fenomen de polarització en termes de comportament de compra del consumidor.

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  5. Irlanda, actualmente se clasifica en el puesto 34 en el ranking mundial respecto a la velocidad del Internet. Eso sitúa a Irlanda en un muy buen lugar a nivel mundial.
    Esta velocidad de internet, permite poder trabajar mejor o una mejor navegación al usuario. Hoy en día en imprescindible tener una buena conexión a internet.
    Irlanda no ha sido un país que ha sido rápido a la hora de implantar la banda ancha, pero aun así supera a muchos países, como a Inglaterra. Todo y con eso, en Irlanda, hay muchos lugares que todavía no constan de esta banda ancha, ya que son lugar rurales a lo cuales es difícil poder aplicar este servicio.

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    Respuestas
    1. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Natalia! Un reto de Irlanda es cubrir con banda ancha generosa esas zonas rurales no muy bien dotadas.

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  6. Nowadays it's obligatory to have a good internet, specially in these times we are living. With the Covid-19 lot of people has to work at home and without a good internet conection i think we cannot reach all our work-objectives.

    Congrats for this article Dr. Fondevila!

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  7. Gracias al gran desarrollo de la banda ancha en Irlanda podemos ver cómo este país es un gran consumidor de contenido online. Al poder descargar más rápido el contenido les permite disfrutarlo antes y, por ende, terminarlo e ir en busca de más contenido. La velocidad de su conexión también les permite encontrar antes nuevo contenido ya que las páginas web cargan más rápido. En conclusión, la banda ancha dinamiza el consumo online y, al mismo tiempo, provoca un incremento del consumo.

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    Respuestas
    1. ¡Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Alba! El consumo de contenido en línea depende directamente de la banda ancha.

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  8. L'article tracta el tema de la banda ampla a Irlanda i com ha anat evolucionant fins a classificar-se en la posició 34 del rànquing mundial tot i començar a desenvolupar-la l'any 1991. Aquesta gran connectivitat és imprescindible avui en dia en pràcticament totes les activitats que realitzem, com treballar o relacionar-te. Tot I ocupar una alta posició en el rànquing, hi ha moltes zones rurals d'Irlanda que segueixen sense gaudir d'aquesta banda ampla, i com a conseqüència moltes escoles han de gastar diners innecessàriament per poder substituir la banda amplia per pissarres i llibres entre d'altres. Cal remarcar que Irlanda ha estat el país de la Unió Europea ama el desenvolupament més lent de banda ampla, però ha estat el mes ràpid en el desenvolupament d'internet mòbil.

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    Respuestas
    1. Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari, Oriol! És curiosa la dicotomia irlandesa entre banda ampla fixa i mòbil.

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  9. This article which is clearly giving an opinion, defens that Irlanda, especially in rural areas, need to be more focused on the development of broadband and I’m totally agree with that.
    First of all, a study made in 2019 prove that download speech is faster than upload speech which means that irish consumers will have problems with the visualization of the pages and in consecuense buying a product or contract any service online will be more difficult.
    Secondly, Ireland has a nice advantage in front of other countries, his low corporation tax. Differents companies ODT move into the city, but the lack of infrastructure prevents them from reaching all their possible consumers and therefore can’t not sales all his products. Now a days a consumer has evolved and we can call him a crossumer (he need to get information from different media ). Although he is a very demanding consumer if this companies could satisfy him, he would become an evangelizer of his brand.
    To make all this possible, Ireland need to get a better infrastructure and improve broadband.

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  10. L'article ens parla de la connexió de banda ampla d'Irlanda, el 34è pais amb la millor connexió de banda ampla a nivell mundial.
    No va ser dels primera paisos en implementar la banda ampla però si una de les més eficients, ja que començant l'and 1991 va desenvolupar de manera molt rápida una bona conexió a tot el pais. Gracies a aquesta bona xarxa de banda ampla es poden dur a terme tot tipus de negocis online sense cap preocupació, veure contingut online i tot això a una velocitat perfecta.
    Això ha convertit a Irlanda en una potència mundial en l'aspecte de la velocitat online.

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  11. I have found this article very interesting and to be food for thought. The connection the main cities have can’t be compared to the one the countryside has and that’s where the problem lives. People in the countryside also need to have good broadband connections. I think that they deserve an even connection if not better because of the fact that they don’t have as easy access to big stores as the people living in the capital, they are going to be more likely to need to purchase things online.

    Furthermore, thinking about what is going on in the world right now, being isolated and not being able to attend school or work makes it even more important to have access to a good broadband connection. Although many people didn’t pay much attention to the speed of the connection they had, the pandemic and the distant learning have made it a big concern. Only those that already had a good connection were able to keep up with their work and learning whereas the ones that didn’t weren't able to follow what had to be done.

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  12. Cada vez estamos más conectados y vemos de la importancia de esto. La banda ancha ha mejorado y es mucho más eficiente y confiable hoy en día en comparación con cuando se instaló por primera vez, e incluso se lucha por conseguir instalarla/mejorarla en zonas rurales. Esto último es muy importante para no excluir a las zonas rurales y poder favorecer su desarrollo a la par de la Ciudad.

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  13. L'article deals with the subject of the band extends to Ireland and has evolved in order to classify itself in the 34th position of the world ranking regarding internet speed. It starts to develop from 1991 and currently surpasses many countries, such as England.

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  14. Broadband is necessary right now in our society. All people, societis, economics and more things are connecting together. When a few segments are not in communication with the others, take more problems than others, because don't take the same services, and those who do not have are far. Irlanda is a country that her broadband is going up in a little time, and now takes a good position in the ranking. The country takes broadband in a lot of territory but it still needs to be completed in the whole country, since they have an agricultural economy.

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  15. Aquest article, en nom d'Irlanda tracta sobre el seu broadband y el seu desenvolupament al llarg dels anys. Posant irlanda en una molt bona posició però sense tenir en compte les seves zones rurals tot i els grans esforços que es varen posar. Es imprescindible sobretot a dia d'avui tenir-ne, ja sigui per fer-ne us personal, com per treballar, educar, etc. Cal tenir en compte la gran lentitud que ha suposat per a Irlanda implantar el broadband però lo ràpid que ha estat el seu desenvolupament en l'internet mòbil. Tot i així s'ha de dir, que tot i la seva lentitud, ha superat a Anglaterra.

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  16. Broadband is necessary right now in our society. All people, societies, economics and more things are connecting together. When a few segments are not in communication with each other problems can occur.

    Ireland is a country that its broadband is going up in little time, and now takes a good position in the ranking. The country uses its broadband in a lot of the territory but it still needs to be completed in the whole country, since they have an agricultural economy.

    Xavi Garcia

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  17. Some areas in rural Ireland in the south still lack phone service inhibiting a good broadband connection. The Regional Authority who were responsible for delivering on the broadband issue, decided satellite broadband was an option. One of the many advantages is it does not require a lot of investment meaning a lot of people can access it for relatively cheap. There are a lot of schools in rural areas and that’s the main reason why they needed broadband connection.
    The development of broadband in Ireland has been very uneven between rural and urban areas. The speed of the internet is one of the factors most sought by the inhabitants of Ireland and it is what the country is trying to promote. As we well know, speed when browsing is crucial for a good shopping experience.

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  18. Broadband is necessary right now in our society. All people, societies, economics and more things are connecting together. When a few segments are not in communication with each other problems can occur.
    Ireland is a country that its broadband is going up in little time, and now takes a good position in the ranking. The country uses its broadband in a lot of the territory but it still needs to be completed in the whole country, since they have an agricultural economy.

    ResponderEliminar