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Is Dangling Dongles Out The Window The Best Ireland Can Do?


Wicklow, Ireland (23rd February 2011) – Donal Kiernan, Wicklow Independent Candidate in Election 2011 is concerned that we are lagging way behind in internet access particularly in rural Ireland.

The best some people can get is a broadband dongle which they plug into their laptop and wander round outside till they get a steady blue light on it. They then have to retrace their steps back as near as possible to their house and with a bit of luck get a connection from near a window. They then have to use an extension cable and dangle this dongle out the window every time they want broadband. If it freezes the dongle will not work and so it needs to be kept warm on the mantle piece over the fire when not in use.

There is an alternative. The EU through the European Space Agency and other investors sponsored the launch of a satellite called Hylas-1 and one of the main aims of this was to bring broadband connection to rural areas in Europe including Ireland. The Hylas service is targeted at areas where the wired broadband infrastructure is not available or is available at slow speed.

A UK based company called Avanti Communications owns the satellite. It has contracts with telecom and IT services companies in Europe and one of those listed on their website is MicroMagic in County Cork. The expectation of the EU was that people would pay around 25 euro a month for the service. Micromagic will provide and install this product for you. Their prices are as follows:

Equipment Installation 275 euro+ vat 13.5%
Equipment 380 euro + vat 21%
One time activation fee of 30 euro + vat
Cheapest Monthy fee 29.97 euro + 21% vat

Northern Ireland’s DETI have funded Avanti Communications to the tune of £1.1m to provide satellite broadband services to NI residents and businesses unable to access fixed line broadband. People pay £99 to join and £25 monthly fee.

Donal Kiernan says "I can’t help having an envious look at what is happening in Northern Ireland.If you live in the country and have very little money the MicroMagic charges are a lot to have to pay out to get connected. I appreciate that MicroMagic have to run a business and cover their costs. Surely we have to look at doing similar funding for satellite broadband here in Ireland even if it shaves a little off the fibre optic budget. This is so important for job creation and our future. Ireland must reach for the sky.”


 Donal Kiernan
 Independent Wicklow 2011
 broadband internet
 Wicklow Independent

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