What Eric Schmidt Thinks Ireland Needs (Hint: broadband)

Thanks to Bernie Goldbach for reporting this. Obviously we don’t need the CEO of Google to point such things out, but it’s nice to see an important figure from the web lend his weight to the argument for a better broadband infrastructure. Living in Longford and Leitrim over the past four years I am all too painfully aware of the extremely poor communications infrastructure in Ireland.

ERIC SCHMIDT, CEO OF GOOGLE, visited Killarney last week, and suggested Ireland invest more in communications infrastructure. Schmidt believes broadband capability is a precondition for economic growth in the next 10 years. But not the kind of over-the-air sprinkling that the Irish government currently endorses.

“The right thing to do is to light up Ireland with fibre, and to do that systematically over a 10-year period.”

via Inside View: What Eric Schmidt Thinks Ireland Needs.

The government talks about decentralising but if it really wants to do that it needs to sort out a proper broadband infrastructure. Of course it goes beyond decentralisation – it’s a pure economic fact now – Ireland needs hyper-connectivity at hyper-speed to stay competitive, attractive to investors and businesses considering locating here, and, well, so many things.

The National Broadband Scheme is a complete joke. I’m personally in a situation where I am strongly considering taking my ass out of the back of beyond and to somewhere where I might get reasonable and reliable connectivity. It’s a horrible thought that it might come to that, and doesn’t exactly help small rural communities develop at all.

I’ve fought with shit internet connections ever since I moved out of Dublin, going from dial-up, to capped broadband, to unbelievably shit wireless, to semi-decent wireless which turned shit (they assure us it will get better next week). All of this time I’ve struggled to beat my 1mbps connection which I first experienced in Toronto in 2001. That’s 8 years ago. What’s the story?!

The below image shows ping times on our connection – the slower the ping, the slower the connection. How shit is that.

Smoke Ping results - Last 10 days

Smoke Ping results - Last 10 days

The next image shows our inexorable decline in decent connection since May of this year. Nice to have paid €90 per month for such a wonderful service – oh and don’t even say 3G to me, I wouldn’t go near that if you paid me.

Smoke Ping results - Past 12 months

Smoke Ping results - Past 12 months

I’m just getting annoyed now. I’m going to stop thinking about this and get back to work. Just needed a little rant. Sure, soon I’ll be in India and Cambodia. Maybe they’ll have the infrastructure sorted out when I get back (I doubt it).