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Tag Archives: Broadband

Good progress in telecommunications work

THE first quarterly progress report on the 2018 Work Programme of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce Implementation Group demonstrates the good progress made in alleviating telecommunications deficits in Ireland, pending roll-out of the National Broadband Plan State Intervention. This was the observation of Minister Denis Naughten and Minister of State Seán Kyne in a joint statement this afternoon (Monday). Minister Naughten said, “We have achieved a lot since establishing this Taskforce in mid-2016, and the publication of this report reflects the momentum that was built up throughout 2017. We have continued to concentrate on how best to resolve mobile coverage black-spots, particularly in rural areas and a focus group has been established dedicated specifically to guide policy in that regard. We are also continuing to engage with industry and local authorities in a mapping exercise to identify priority black-spots across the country. I am also encouraged by the substantial work done by ComReg – such as mobile handset testing, and ongoing work to develop a composite national coverage map – to ensure customers are better informed before making decisions on products and services.” …

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Rural Clare’s future jeopardised by ‘dire broadband’

HUGE tracts of Clare are on the wrong side of the so-called ‘digital divide’ according to local politicians and business people, with concerns this is hampering economic development and will continue to do so for years to come. Research published this week by switcher.ie shows that there is an average download speed in Clare of 17.4 Megabits per second (Mbps). This is the 12th quickest of the 26 counties and while this is dramatically quicker than last-placed Longford (just 7.25Mbps), it is also way behind first-placed Dublin (44.85Mbps) and also some distance behind Waterford (27.9Mbps) and Kildare (27.36Mbps). The research also shows that Shannon, home to companies such as IT giant Intel, has an average download speed of 51.64 Mbps, the eighth quickest city or town in Ireland. While the figure in Shannon is almost three times quicker than the average for the county, there is no doubt that many rural areas are experiencing much slower speeds. Fianna Fáil TD …

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New council CEO sets 4,000 jobs target

CREATING the environment to deliver an additional 4,000 jobs in Clare over the next five years is one of the ambitious targets set by the Clare County Council chief, Pat Dowling. Next Monday, Mr Dowling officially starts his seven-year term, with the possibility of a three-year extension, as the council’s new chief executive officer. In an exclusive interview with The Clare Champion, Mr Dowling has outlined a number of key economic objectives, which will help to transform the county, if they are successfully implemented during his term of office. Asked if he feels the target of 4,000 is achievable, Mr Dowling said that, while it is ambitious, “If you don’t go for it, you don’t get there.” He added, “Tipperary thought that Kilkenny were favourites to win the All-Ireland title but they annihilated them. Clare has to do the same. Clare has to show it can punch above its weight in the region. Instead of saying Clare is not getting …

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‘Microwave hearing’ cited in Cooraclare mast appeal

Angela Collins, Leitrim, Cree, has lodged an appeal against Clare County Council’s decision to grant Brian Sexton of Clare Broadband planning permission to retain a broadband mast at Cloonreddan, Cooraclare. As part of her appeal, Ms Collins submitted a letter from her consultant neurologist, Dr Harib Rahman of the Neurology Department, University Hospital Galway and Galway Clinic. “Angela Collins is suffering from microwave hearing, due to the location of the mast near her home,” Dr Rahman stated. Corofin planning consultant, Brendan McGrath submitted a number of planning documents on behalf of Ms Collins. In a submission to the appeals’ board, Mr McGrath stated that a visual inspection shows the mast is about 17 metres in height, 70% higher than the 10 metres stated in the retention application. “In my opinion, the documentation and information submitted are of poor quality. In addition to misrepresentation of the physical scale of the development, there are other deficiencies. “The submitted drawings and plans do …

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Clare TD objects to Cooraclare mast

PLANNING approval for a controversial Cooraclare mast, linked to claims by recently elected TD, Dr Michael Harty of serious problems with his own internet connection, is now on hold. An Bord Pleanála has been asked to take a fresh look at Clare County Council’s decision to grant Brian Sexton of Clare Broadband planning permission to retain a broadband mast at Cloonreddan, Cooraclare. One of the original objectors, Angela Collins, has lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála. In a letter to the council on July 20 last, Dr Harty and his wife, Geraldine, a registered nurse, expressed a number of personal objections. They stated it was disappointing that a letter sent by the council concerning this unauthorised development was met by defiance and, instead of removing it, the owner/operator chose to develop it further instead. “Our Vodafone service has been severely limited since this mast was erected. Several telephone calls to the service provider have resulted in no improvement. “As …

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Connectivity still impeding Kilrush

THE possibility of new businesses setting up in Kilrush or of current businesses expanding is being stymied because of the lack of acceptable broadband connectivity. Kilrush Chamber of Commerce president, Mairead O’Brien, who, along with her husband, is self-employed, and IT specialist, Alan Howard have said the town is standing still economically because of broadband issues. “There are probably up to 100 businesses in Kilrush, from retail to people working from home. We have two small businesses in my house alone but we can’t send or receive invoices. It’s as petty as that. I’m not talking about Netflix. We’re not talking about the domestic issue of the lack of broadband. We’re talking about the nuts and bolts of not being able to receive important invoices or price lists. “Doing business on the internet is just not working. There is not enough broadband connectivity. We’re bumped up on the broadband upgrade list, we’re bumped down on the list but we’re not …

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Coverage blackout costing businesses

Tourism businesses are losing “invaluable” free publicity because of the poor phone and broadband coverage in the county. According to John Connolly of Hazel Mountain Chocolate, “Social media can generate such momentum behind a business” and poor internet access prohibits people from “advertising your business for free”. Mr Connolly added that, for many businesses, strong broadband is necessary from a basic operational level. “We have had every provider in the country come to us and no one was able to offer us guaranteed internet. We ended up using satellite broadband, which is just fast enough for the visa machine, if you stand in the right place in room. Last year we went to a cocoa plantation in Costa Rica; they had broadband and phone coverage and they didn’t even have a flushing toilet,” he said. The phone coverage is so bad in some parts of the county that a local priest asked one mobile operator if erecting a mast on …

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No broadband hit for Kilnamona businesss

A KILNAMONA-based couple, who operate a tourism business, have to run it from a variety of cafés in Ennis, due to the lack of broadband where they live. Henry Wilkinson has told The Clare Champion that they would not have moved to Kilnamona had they been aware that broadband access was an issue. “Had we known back in December that there was no broadband in the area, we would not have taken a year’s lease. My fiancée and I recently moved to the area to be closer to her parents. We run our own tourism-based business and urgently need access to fast, reliable broadband,” Mr Wilkinson explained. The absence of broadband has resulted in the couple having to work from Ennis. “Over the past four months, we have been making daily trips to Ennis to sit in coffee shops and try and run our business, which is expensive and not ideal. Where do we go from here? Will broadband be …

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