In this day and age there is so much talk about the Internet of Things and how much can be done to use it to increase our social , educational and other welfare. Nowadays our statutory requirements such as paying property tax and making annual returns are also done online. But for some people access to the Internet is not that simple because their broadband connection is very slow and sometimes not there at all. This can be a frustrating problem.
There are three things that can interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy the Internet, the first is not having a computer or access to one, the second is suffering a bad connection to the Internet, the third is not knowing how to use the computer.
In the eyes of the Government, or Revenue at least, not having a computer is not a sufficient reason to stop you returning your accounts online, even though they do not recommend that you use a computer in a library of a post office for security reasons. I am still struggling with the reasoning behind this.
Secondly having a bad connection to the Internet can interfere with your ability to use it effectively. According to the National Broadband scheme website, the Government have invested €79.8 million in ensuring that people who are in remote areas have a good connection to the Internet, they have also received matching funding from the ERDF. The infrastructure which provides this broadband service was most recently upgraded in October 2012. The table below describes the service that everyone on the National Broadband scheme with 3 should be receiving.
Current NBS Service Specifications – Upgraded in October 2012
|Mobile Wireless (I-HSPA)||Min (at cell edge)||Max (at cell centre)|
|Maximum contention ratio||
|Monthly Data Cap (uncharged)||40GB – (30GB download, 10GB upload)|
If you believe your Internet connection is not behaving as promised by the National Broadband scheme. I would like to recommend that you treat it like any unwell person or animal. Observe it over a few days, even a few weeks. Take a speed test a couple of times a day and record it.
Comreg, the statutory body responsible for the regulation of the electronic communications sector, are planning to introduce their own speed testing function by the end of the year. For now, to test or sample the speed of your Internet connection, visit the website www.broadbandspeedtest.ie. there are three things to note
1. The ping speed
2. The download speed
3. Upload speed
Keep a record of these and the time of day and date, talk to any other person in your area who is using the same broadband supplier. In a community find out if the people closest to the mast are getting better speeds than people further away.
When you have a body of information gathered then it is a good time to talk to your broadband supplier and ComReg about improvements.
The third issue that interferes with people’s ability to use computers, that is why the Compucara office was opened.