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CEO of Rural Wifi Patrick Cotter; results of a recent survey by Rural Wifi

Rural Wifi, which was launched in 2015, claims to be the first Irish company offering both wireless and satellite broadband across Ireland.

They say using a combination of their router and antenna technologies mean they can get rural customers speeds of 30Mbps.

CEO of Rural Wifi Patrick Cotter – who founded Fleetconnect in 2008, which provides mobile wifi for clients such as Irish Rail and Bus Éireann – writes:

“In the last couple of months, we have been active on the ground in Leitrim and Monaghan -the worst two counties in Ireland for broadband penetration. The take up has been fantastic.

“We are now planning the next steps for further counties over the coming month, testing our service while putting up posters, signing up new customers and installing within short time frames because our teams are already on the ground.

“In Meath, I’m planning to help people be connected with up to 10mb by the end of the year. We need to close the Digital Divide as soon as possible.

“We recently said we’d come to the remote Aran Islands and we did. We installed Rural Wifi into the home of one family with three young kids. They had no internet until then and we got them up to 15 MB per second.”

Rural Wifi offers plans starting from rolling 30-day contracts with packages available from €48 per month for 100 gb data including installation, to unlimited data from €65 per month with a 14-day money back guarantee if the customer isn’t happy.

Fair enough.

Meanwhile…

Eir’s CEO Carolan Lennon at the Oireachtas communications committee on Tuesday

On Tuesday.

Eir’s chief executive Carolan Lennon told the Oireachtas communications committee that Eir could deliver high-speed broadband to 540,000 homes, farms and businesses across Ireland for €1billion.

This is a fifth of the estimated final cost of the project under the preferred bidder Granahan McCourt and a third of the sum the State has agreed to invest in the plan.

Yesterday, Ms Lennon’s appearance and comments were raised by Fianna Fáil’s leader Micheál Martin and he said:

“I think the Minister got too close to the Granahan McCourt consortium; the political and electoral imperative took over and the issue of cost in the Government’s requirements went out the window.”

“…Given that the costs have ballooned even from the estimates of 2017, never mind the original estimate of €500-odd million, the Taoiseach has been too dismissive of those who have raised legitimate questions about this and of yesterday’s Eir submission, which deserves further analysis. Alternatives should be considered.

“The Taoiseach might have felt the need to make a big political announcement before the local elections but I return to the words of the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Robert Watt, who said there was cause to pause and review. I ask the Government to do that now.”

In his response, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that, following on from Ms Lennon’s comments, the Department of Communications had written to Eir to seek further clarification, saying:

“We should not forget that Eir took part in the process and made an initial bid for €2.7 billion, which was higher than the initial bid from Granahan McCourt, and then pulled out of the process, citing the fact that the risks were too high and the level of oversight too onerous, and refusing to make any commitment around the equity investment it would make.

“While the Deputy has been critical that the equity investment made by Granahan McCourt is too low, Eir was unwilling to commit to any equity investment whatsoever.

“It is, therefore, a big turnaround that the company is now saying that it can do the project for €1 billion. If that is the case then I am all ears and we must listen to it.

“We need to know whether this offer is real and stacks up, and what kind of delay would be imposed on people in rural Ireland waiting for broadband if we went back to a new procurement process.

“Everyone understands that neither a private nor a State company can just be given a contract; there would have to be a new procurement process. We also need to know that anything done would be within state aid rules and EU procurement law. A letter was issued today by the Department to Eir seeking that information.”

This morning.

On Today’s Sean O’Rourke, Communications Minister Richard Bruton spoke about the matter…

Rural Wifi

Thanks Barbara

19 thoughts on “Alternatively

  1. GiggidyGoo

    The newstalk spot this morning, if there’s a podcast, should also be put up. Two prime mid morning radio shown full of FG trying to discredit Eir. Shameful media in this country.

    1. Termagant

      Let’s be fair, anyone who’s ever been a customer of Eir knows that what they say they’ll deliver and what they actually deliver only ever overlap by accident. Obviously I’d love if they could deliver it for a billion but I’ll believe it when I see it.

      1. terry_g

        Maybe so but the more we are hearing about mc court the more the reason this must be halted and retendered
        Another fact is RTE is headed by an ex employee of one of the mc courts media companies namely the discovery channel
        Maybe just a coincidence that she is director general of RTE which also provides the news

    2. Ian-O

      Somewhere, there is a magical USB stick (the type that just appears on peoples desk as if by magic) with a lot of secrets just waiting to see if certain people can deliver certain state contracts.

      Eir have really thrown a spanner in the works.

      No water contracts, maybe no broadband either, poor magical USB stick holder just can’t get a break in this country.

      Haiti, now that was easy enough.

  2. Rugbyfan

    the fact that the show is being tweeted asks the question why highly paid RTE presenters are needed at all… don’t listed to radio just watch your twitter feed.

  3. Al Bin Man

    fleetconnect?

    Bus Éireann?
    Irish rail?

    Their WiFi is an abomination

    Another spoofer on the make is speaking

  4. Dr.Fart MD

    Eir vs. Fine Gael .. good god i have no dog in this fight. they’re both extremely untrustworthy.

    1. Ian-O

      Perhaps, but I have little reason to deal with Eir at any time.

      So while they are a shower of poos, I am hoping they really fupp up the whole process and show it up for the scam it is and by extension, FG.

      The bang of dodgy off Naughten is stifling and McCourt looks like he steals children through an 80’s TV.

      1. Dr.Fart MD

        hahaha.. i think even if FG did a class job on rural broadband from start to finish, gettin a good quote, delivering it in budget and timely, they still have too many stains on their bib to redeem themselves. however, going my polls and what not, it seems no disaster is too far for people to forget or not even care about.

  5. paul

    I’m always perplexed by this issue. I’ve stayed in the middle of nowhere in Kerry, a half hours fast drive to anywhere and had grand full quality 4G signal even with a giant mountain at my back. Stick a few masts down, be grand. None of this 3bn/1bn business.

    1. SOQ

      +1.

      Vodaphone are claiming a 96% coverage of ROI at the moment. I have made two points in comments to previous posts on the subject- that a combination of satellite and antenna is doable and, that Eir are already eating into the ‘Rural Broadband’ scope. Neither of which is costing the tax payer a single cent.

      This scam needs to be put to bed- right now.

  6. Truth in the News

    Eir are currently rolling out a Fibre network using optical cable sourced from ACOME in France
    which comprises of a back bone cable type G652 with 36 fibres, to serve around 330 odd rural
    premises using little short of 30 Thousand Km of fibre, We are being told the investment is
    around 200 M, is it really, is it not the case that all this is being accomplished for less and
    nothing like the 10 thousand per premises, then Eir reveal that they can deliver NBP service
    to the other 500 to 600 thousand for less than a billion, yet they wanted almost a billion
    for the use of their infrastructure (poles + ducts) from the Dept + McCourt, then their
    is another twist in that there will be a second cable running alongside Eir one sevicing
    their customers, more or less a duplication of 30 Thousand Km which emerged at
    Oireachtas Committee a few days ago, yet in all of this no one has produced a
    a figure of what the existing fibre employed by Eir costs per Km or Mtr and any technical
    reports issued so far by the Dept has these figures redacted …….Why
    Perhaps its time to look at what communities did for themselves elsewhere
    North of England https://b4rrn .org.uk the USA https://www.muninetworks.org

  7. Increasing Displacement

    48 per month for 100 gb data – Rubbish …almost as bad as Vodafones wireless offer.

    Eir – untrustworthy, never deliver on speeds…not even close…horrific IT support and generally a nightmare to deal with

    These 1-2 year contracts need to be shut down. You should be able to buy your own router and pay per month. Switch when you feel like it ie when your proivders speed drops out.
    I’ve already had to go to Comreg about Vodafone, 3 and Eir. Vodafone were the most pleasant to deal with but still tried to stop me getting out of contract. 3 and Eir fought tooth and nail to stop it…scum

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