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Tag Archives: Broadband

Crowe raises online marts outage with Agriculture Minister

MINISTER for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue has pledged to keep restrictions on mart access under review, following a major outage with the online system, which affected sales nationwide, including those in Clare. Raising the issue in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Cathal Crowe told the minister there had been anger and confusion among local farmers over the issue that arose at the end of last month. “The system crashed for about two hours at Sixmilebridge mart,” the Fianna Fáil TD outlined, “with the result that many of the cattle already in pens in the back yard had to be loaded back onto trailers and returned to their home farms. There was consternation in the marts and considerable anger and frustration among farmers.” The Meelick-based TD said that while sales had managed to resume on the day in question, many farmers were unable to sell their animals. “The mart in Sixmilebridge continued and some sales took place, including the sale of my uncle’s yearlings, …

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Broadband frustrations increase for East Clare residents working from home

FRUSTRATION at poor broadband across large sections of East Clare has intensified as more people try to work and study from home in response to the pandemic. One Tulla resident has told The Champion of her efforts to improve her family’s service which has involved contacting ten different providers, to no avail. The women, who lives just a few kilometres from the town, is a customer with Eir and uses a mobile broadband dongle. “I originally had broadband through the phone line and the service was very poor,” she explained. “The mobile device is supposed to provide wireless internet for up to ten devices, but if you have any more than two connected, it is a disaster. I’m working from home and my daughter was in Leaving Cert, so her studies had to take priority. At best, the service is okay, but that’s all. It is affected by bad weather too, which doesn’t help.” After trying ten different service providers …

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Loophead phone coverage ‘virtually non-existent’

THE plight of the farming community in accessing mobile phone and broadband services in West Clare has been highlighted by a Loop Head man who estimates that his family have paid more than €1,000 over a six-month period when they have virtually no coverage. John Keane, who lives half way between Cross and Kilbaha, is a dairy farmer, milking over 200 cows a day. He outlined how, since last November, five members of his family have had worsening problems in accessing a phone signal, and said the issue is also affecting the wider community. The situation is now so bad that Mr Keane fears that in the event of him having an accident or a heart attack in his milking parlour, he would be unable to use his phone to raise the alarm. “I would die in the milking parlour, if, God forbid, I had a heart attack,” he said. “As a farmer, the mobile phone is a safety net. …

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Clare doctors in the frame for remote consulting

THE use of remote consulting has become more important for Clare’s family doctors during the current Covid-19 pandemic. While remote consulting will not work for every patient, Doctor Michael Kelleher has acknowledged it is very beneficial to be able to see a patient on video and establish whether they are unwell and discuss their concerns. “Covid-19 has forced doctors to use remote consulting in a way you don’t have much choice but to use it. It is a very welcome development but it has its limitations. “It is very useful in scenarios where a doctor and a patient know each other very well and where the consultation doesn’t need a hands-on examination. “It is very useful for reviewing patients you have already seen them, know them very well and have their medical record, which in most cases is electronic. “There is a big difference between a doctor dealing with a patient he knows well remotely compared to logging on to …

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Crowe asks broadband providers to show leniency

CLARE Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe has called on satellite broadband providers not to penalise families who exceed their data package, during the COVID19 pandemic. Deputy Crowe said, “The majority of families and households across Clare are abiding by the HSE guidelines and are staying at home during this pandemic.  They are playing their part by not going out, with people working from home and kids undertaking their schoolwork in their kitchens. “This put a greater demand on the broadband infrastructure, and for some households they may be using more data than is in their current package. “Many broadband providers have a policy of adding a penalty for people exceeding the terms of their bundle.  However, these are unprecedented times.  It’s not business as usual and I am urging providers to take the current circumstances into account. “I am calling on the Communications Minister to engage with satellite broadband providers who are still imposing a cap on customers to see what can be …

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“I will make sure this is a success if I have to do it myself”

ON Tuesday evening, hours after he signed off on a deal worth billions and as news bulletins showed him with the Taoiseach, David McCourt was shovelling coal onto the fire in O’Neill’s bar in Newmarket-on-Fergus and drinking tea. He was enjoying some respite after a marathon couple of days concluding a saga that began in July 2015. It was a bruising process, which saw the resignation of Minister Denis Naughten following news that he had met with Mr McCourt as he pursued the contract. Getting to Tuesday was not easy and McCourt explained he was not happy with some of the things said about him throughout it. “Everyone called us the last man standing, we were the last man willing to stand, we’re the last one capable of standing.” Some of the reportage left a lot to be desired, he felt. “They have their job to do, they have to sell newspapers. I can’t fault them for doing their job. …

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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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