I live just outside Wexford town where I have a relatively expensive, relatively slow and occasionally downright awful fixed wireless/wifi broadband service. It struggles to top 1mb download and yesterday I clocked it at 16kbps upload. I’d have been faster training a pigeon to sing the email to the intended recipient and act out the powerpoint presentation through the medium of interprative dance. It (the broadband, not the pigeon) usually finds mist, fog, rain and leaves on trees to be a total embuggerance.
Wexford is a hub town on the National Development Plan. Wexford has a grown up fiber-optic MAN that is, at present, woefully underutilised. What could be done to improve things to bring top notch fibre speeds to the door (or the last mile) and open up the use of the MAN to people who are just outside its loop?
The map of the Wexford MAN can be found on the e-net.ie website. On the eastern side of the Slaney it terminates in an industrial estate (with lots of relatively tall buildings) in Knottown, Ardcavan (follow the blue line out). There are not that many houses out this part of the road as most of the land is agricultural or industrial uses.
About a 3kms (approx 1.8 miles) north of Ardcavan is Castlebridge, which is a very rapidly growing village unserved by fixed line broadband and patchily served by FWA providers.
Might the use of technology like this support the extension of that leg of the MAN out to Castlebridge and surrounding areas with a massive increase in available bandwidth for customers in those areas, with reduced attenuation due to distance etc. as instead of having to pick up anntenae in Rosslare or in Wexford town? The industrial estate where the MAN terminates is at the high point of a shallow hill (not that shallow on the bicycle though) and a reasonably tall mast on one of those buildings (such as the one that the Dept of the Environment are using and which Wexford VEC also use) would provide possible base for such a piece of infrastructure. ComReg recently approved the roll out of this type of technology.
Would this not help convert the Wexford MAN from a virtual white elephant investment (which the Mayor of Wexford has previously complained about the cost of connection to) into something that actually could help make Wexford a ‘knowledge economy hub? Personally, if I could get even 5MB at a reasonable price I would be happy to reduce my commuting and work from home (hey, Minister Ryan… see how broadband can help reduce our carbon emissions? Have you joined those dots yet? Particularly as your colleague Micheal Martin is telling the world how much in demand our skills at hoiking bb into remote areas is.). If the marketing blurb is to be believed, this service would provide a 99.99% availability connecting Castlebridge to the MAN for backhaul. 99.99% availability for >1mb broadband on this platform versus 0% availability for >1mb broadband currently.
Or have I (as usual) missed something obvious with either the technology or the politics.?
Perhaps the solution to our broadband joke is the punchline to another joke…
English archaeologists have dug down in Surrey and found long strands of copper bound together in pairs. This has lead them to deduce that the primitive Britons had an advanced copper based DSL network with speeds of up to 12mb. French archaeologists, not to be out done, have dug down and found long strands of glass laid in leather bindings. This has led them to deduce that the ancient Gauls had fiber to the hut and speeds in excess of 20mb.
A team of archaeologists from UCD have also done excavations in the South East of Ireland and found absolutely nothing. The only conclusion they can draw from this is that the ancient Celts had a highly advanced totally wireless broadband network with speeds of up to 1GB to the hut.