Tag Archive for group broadband scheme problems govt

Its a Group Broadband Scheme not A Group Water Scheme

Siliconrepublic have an article outlining the fury by local groups that the group broadband scheme is to be scrapped.. Having being involved with this at a community level and promoted the concept on this site I share their sentiments.
The scheme from the outset was a bureaucratic disaster.
When the scheme was announced in Mar 2005 it was envisaged that companies could start implementing broaband in the summer of 2005 and receive a grant for capital costs in bringing the scheme to rural communities REGARDLESS OF THE POPULATION SIZE.
This was put on hold until Oct 2005, so broadband companies could not make any purchases what so ever before that date. It was also envisages that MAN in various town would allow local broadband groups to connect to the backbone at a reasonable rate. THIS NEVER HAPPENED.
From Jan 06 broadband started to happen in earnest but it only emerged towards the latter end of 2006 that the goal posts had moved. Instead of allocating a grant BY THE NUMBER OF NODES OR WIFI AREAS they grant was based SOLELY ON THE NUMBER OF USERS CONNECTED. This meant that small rural communities were again losing out. There was no incentive to connect a small village or townland that was in a hard to reach area as the cost of repeaters, co-location of equipment etc were not taken into account in the grant.
LOOKING FORWARD
1 – Govt has to offer low cost access to MANs for schemes
2 – Grant should be on a WI-FI area not on a per user basis and should reflect the difficulty involved in bringing a service to an area.
3 – Frequencies that are capable of non line of sight need to licensed such as 1.2 GHz or at least made available to group broadband schemes.