The European Union has been called on to back a proposal to bridge the digital divide in the rural communities of Tipperary Clare, and Limerick which are unable to access fibre or wireless broadband services.
The Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly Mid-West Office (formerly Mid West Regional Office) and Clare-based Slí Nua Development are partners of an EU-funded Satellite Broadband for European Regions project (SABER).
The network met in Brussels today to launch a Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme which it said should be implemented by the members of the EU and their regional governments, to encourage awareness and take-up of satellite broadband solutions across Europe’s most rural regions.
The meeting brought together representatives from 21 European regional authorities, satellite experts and key influencers, including Eutelsat, SES Broadband Services, Airbus Defence and Space, to examine how to accelerate broadband adoption in rural areas.
Majella O’Brien, EU Projects Officer, SERA Mid West Office said the Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme would be of assistance to communities in the Mid West which have yet to benefit under successive National Broadband schemes and are unlikely to be able to access affordable broadband services in the near future.
“Satellite broadband is a practical and viable solution today but the expense associated with setting up and subscribing to the service can be prohibitive for many. Unlike in North America and Australia, Europe has been relatively slow to drive awareness, acceptance and adoption of satellite technology,” she explained. Ms. O’Brien continued: “Satellite broadband is a viable option for many rural communities which find themselves in a broadband black spot. The Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme is one method of increasing its take up and helping rural households and business to bridge the digital divide.”
Patrick Sullivan of Slí Nua Development, an economic development company and SABER project member based in the rural East Clare village of Ogonnelloe, is also backing the proposed Satellite Broadband Voucher Scheme.
“In this digital world, it has been widely accepted that business competitiveness relies on having access to affordable broadband services,” he explained, “However, businesses that are located in remote and rural areas of Tipperary, Limerick, and Clare for example, are disadvantaged because they are not able to access affordable broadband services; especially at the higher broadband speeds that are necessary for them to exploit the increasing number of ICT applications and services that are now available on the market.”
Mr. Sullivan said one solution to addressing the digital divide is the delivery of Broadband Services through satellites, in the same way as many of us receive our television programmes. He continued: “Significant technological advancements have been made in satellite technology which has resulted in this being a reliable medium for the delivery of broadband services. Businesses in rural and remote areas can therefore now gain access to broadband services through satellite technology.”
Mr. Sullivan said that the SABER project has developed guidance, in particular targeted at Regional Policy makers, to make them aware that Satellite technology is available to deliver broadband services. The guidance, written by Slí Nua Development and Eutelsat, and which has been reviewed by 17 regions from across Europe, has focussed on the selection of appropriate technologies and deployment models; building the business case for investing in broadband support programmes; exploring funding options; dealing with state aid; and procuring satellite solutions.
“Through supporting the development of this guidance, the European Commission has sought to encourage Regional Policy makers from across Europe to consider satellite solutions when preparing their plans to bridge the digital divide in their respective areas,” added Mr. Sullivan.
Led by CSI-Piemonte in Italy, the 24-month SABER project is partially EU-funded and involves 26 partners, 21 regional authorities and ICT public and private organisations supporting regions in broadband deployment representing 13 countries. During its lifespan, the SABER project has published important, practical information, guidelines and toolkits (some available in several languages) to help national and regional governments close the European Digital Divide by using satellite broadband technology.
For more visit www.project-saber.eu.
Nineteen-year-old Mr Richard Tynan, a student from the Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, took a bronze medal at the prestigious International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in Taipei, Taiwan last week.
The 26th International Olympiad in Informatics was held in Taipei, Taiwan, from the 13th to 20th of July 2014 and this event annually represents the pinnacle of computer programming at secondary-school level with over 311 students from 82 countries attending this year’s event; their mission to solve six complex algorithmic problems over a two day period. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.
Previously Richard, a native of Portarlington, Co. Laois, had taken first place in the Senior Individual Technology Section for his project ‘Advanced Modelling and Infilling Algorithms for 3d Printing’ at this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition.
He also won the Analog Devices Technology Award, for the student who showed outstanding achievement in technology, winning an all expenses trip to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and to Stanford University.
Mr Gary Conway who led this year’s Irish delegation in Taipei, is delighted with Richard’s win of Ireland’s first IOI medal in five years.
Richard has now been invited to study computer science at the University of Cambridge in England.
Yes it’s happening again folks; people in Thurles are finding that their UPC Broadband service has become totally unreliable once again. We here on Thurles Information have received several complaints from people experiencing broadband connection difficulties within the past few days.
Many complain they cannot access certain websites for no apparent reason and have noted that broadband service drop-outs and slow connection speeds keep occurring on and off since last Wednesday. Something definitely has occurred to cause this in the town and the situation does not seem to be getting fixed.
To help we would like fellow UPC customers in Thurles (Those who can access us on-line that is) to do a simple Broadband Speed Test (Right Click latter link and choose; “Open in a new window“) then check your speed test results against the package you are paying for currently.
It will be interesting to see results from around Thurles and perhaps by participating in this and a phone call or two, we can look forward to obtaining a reasonable service from UPC, sometime in the near future.
My download speed presently is a ridiculous 0.65 Mbps, while I pay for 60.00 Mbps. While UPC may feel they are quote; “Exciting New Customers” presently, trust me when I say they will not, as they now claim, be “Accelerating Economic Growth” here in Thurles with their current service.
One cannot help but wonder if our friends installing water metres have had some impact on this service, after all UPC, from the beginning, were never very careful where they placed their cables.
For Thurles people currently not yet aware; as and from January1st 2013 last, local individuals can report issues of ‘non emergency’ concern and bring same to the attention of their Local Authority by going on-line. The publicly accessible web-site “fixyourstreet.ie,” is now an ‘All Ireland’ service, launched initially since August 2nd, 2011.
This new programming now supports a publicly functional and accessible web-site on which non emergency issues such as vandalism, unsafe road defects, issues regarding street lighting, serious water leaks, drainage issues, severe littering or indeed illegal dumping, can be immediately reported by any observer to their Local Authority.
The on-line programming is still continuing to be further developed, hence the site and it’s associated services offered, continues to remain at ‘beta’ status. This allows the functionality being offered to the public presently, to change and be further developed where necessary, eventually meeting the highest aspirations of the programmers now attempting to deliver this welcome on-line package.
As promised in the ‘Programme for Government’ it is hoped that issues raised on “fixyourstreet.ie” will, eventually, be responded to within 2 working days, however since presently ‘fixyourstreet.ie,’ is a programme moderated service, this means that when you report a local issue through the site, it may take just a little while for same to become visible on the public listings presently being highlighted at local level.
The site can be contacted nationally by sending an email to:- firstname.lastname@example.org, or by sending a Tweet with the hashtag/s #fysie or you can submit a ‘New Report’ by simply clicking HERE.
A small number of Irish scientists have now been elected as new Fellows of the Royal Society, latter the prestigious British based Academy of distinguished international scientists whose past Fellows and Members have included Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Robert Darwin and Albert Einstein.
Fellowship of the Royal Society is therefore made up of the most eminent of scientists, engineers and technologists in the UK and Commonwealth and is considered a significant scientific accolade, with only a small number of other Irish scientists having been afforded this honour in recent years.
Dr Michael Richard Lynch
Among the new Irish fellows now elected is Tipperary born Dr Michael Richard Lynch, co-founder and former chief executive of Britain’s largest software company Autonomy, latter company purchased by Hewlett-Packard in 2011, for some $11bn. Dr Lynch is married with two daughters.
Dr Lynch was born in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1965, before his family moved to England, where he grew up near Chelmsford, Essex. In 1976, then aged 11, he won a scholarship to Bancroft’s School, Woodford, before moving on to Christ’s College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences.
Following graduation he went on to do a PhD in Signal Processing and Communications research at the University of Cambridge, before undertaking a research fellowship in Adaptive Pattern Recognition.
In December 2006, he was appointed as a non-executive director to the Board of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). He is also on the investment committee and Board of the British Library.
Regarded as Britain’s most successful technology entrepreneur, he is a trustee of NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) and is chairman of their investment committee. He is also a non-executive Director of Cambridge Enterprise, advising on technology transfer for Cambridge University and a supporter of The Prince’s Trust technology group. He is also a member of the Council of the Foundation for Science and Technology and on the Enterprise Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
His philanthropic interests include being a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a member of the board of the ‘Create the Change’ Campaign at the Crick Institute, for Cancer Research UK.
He is a non executive director of Blinkx PLC and an advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, in the area of science policy.