I am very surprised that I have not seen any comments in the Irish blogosphere on the interview with Peter Cochrane as broadcasted on TodayFM’s “the last word” yesterday (18/04). While the discussion started out about the current economic growth in Ireland and the suffering infra-structure it quickly turned to the topic of broadband.
Peters’ views were very interesting and re-freshing as he clearly stated that people should not “suck their thumbs waiting for the government or the incumbent telco to provide 100% broadband coverage”. He cited the example of community based networks such as the ones in remote areas in the US (similar to “our” IrihsWAN) where people had taken the initiative to install the neccesary hardware in order to bring broadband and related services to their homes.
This support my opinion that we should not depend on the government, current providers or lobby-groups to solve the broadband problem. The first two parties either don’t know how or have no benefit in doing so while the main lobby group in Ireland complains a lot but apparently still hasn’t come up with a workeable solution to the problem.
What we need is an alternative infra-structure to solve the problem. The recently revealed plans of the government to put the provision of nation-wide broadband coverage out to tender will also not solve the problem. This will most likely create another state-sponsered monopoly.
One of the posible solutions is for the government to establish a state-owned fiber backbone with a transparent & workable access policy. That way any suitable provider can use this backhaul and build out their network from there.
The currently established MAN’s are a good start but they need to be managed in a more customer facing manner while there needs to be a drastic drop in access fees.
P.S. The full interview can be downloaded here..