Are you included on the new broadband map?

In Blog, Business & Jobs, Infrastructure, Jobs by Denis Naughten

Now that National Broadband Ireland is starting to plan for the rollout of broadband in County Roscommon & East Galway it is important that people check their colour code on the National Broadband Map at www.broadband.gov.ie

If people, particularly in towns and villages, are not getting at least 30Mbps consistently then they need to make sure that they are amber on the National Broadband Map, so that they can be provided with suitable broadband solutions through the plan. About 80,000 homes will fall into this category

With everybody currently using their home broadband, now is a good time to check your actual speed. If you are not getting at least 30Mbps then see what to do below.

Check your broadband colour code!

Through the National Broadband Plan (NBP) contract every household and business in Ireland will have access to high quality, high speed broadband of at least 30Mbps.

 

To know what is happening in your area, check your broadband colour code by going to the High Speed Broadband Map at www.broadband.gov.ie and enter your Eircode or address.

This will tell you if your premises is in an AMBER, BLUE, or LIGHT BLUE area.

 

My home or business is in the AMBER area, what does this mean?

You are part of the final phase of the broadband buildout by National Broadband Ireland. This will firstly involve the development of community broadband hubs this year with the build-out of high speed fibre broadband to you home of at least 150Mbps starting in 2021.

Initially the build-out will start in the rural areas around Ballinasloe, Athlone, Roscommon Town and Carrick-on-Shannon which will be some of the first areas in the country to get this new broadband. It will then move to Castlerea, Elphin, Rooskey, Curraghboy, Cloonfad in West Roscommon & Newbridge, Co. Galway to complete the coverage of County Roscommon and East Galway.

In the meantime the broadband officer in your local county council may be able to advise on rural broadband providers in your area. They can be contacted at https://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/List-of-Broadband-officers.pdf

 

My home or business is in the LIGHT BLUE area, what does this mean?

In April 2017, I signed a Commitment Agreement with Eir in relation to its plans to provide high speed broadband to 300,000 premises in rural areas, including your premises. The Eir commercial build-out has now been completed and you can now apply for a connection with one of the existing broadband providers. The contract requires Eir to connect your premises within 20 working days in 95% of cases. If this does not happen then you need to email broadband@dccae.gov.ie with your Eircode and your order number.

My home or business is in the dark BLUE area, what does this mean?

This means that you already should have access to high speed broadband provided by at least one commercial operator who is providing you with a minimum of 30Mbps. That is that your broadband speed should NEVER drop blow 30Mbps. Depending on where you live, you may have a choice of operators offering you this service. Shop around for the best deal at www.bonkers.ie or www.switcher.ie

 

I am in a dark BLUE area and cannot get a minimum of a 30Mbps service, what should I do?

First, check your speed

The best way to check speed is by directly connecting your computer/laptop to your wireless modem/ router.

  • Connect with an ethernet cable (usually a yellow cable supplied with the modem).
  • Switch off WiFi and shut down any programs that are downloading data.
  • Google ‘speedtest’. Your service provider may have a speedtest widget on their website or you can select an independent provider.
  • Pick a server in Ireland (using a server in the UK or beyond will affect the result).

Second, check other operators

Check with all operators offering service in your area to see if they can give you better speeds on a different network (locally this would mainly apply where there is either Siro or Virgin operating their own networks). Log on to www.bonkers.ie or www.switcher.ie

Third, Report to the Department of Communications

If you have exhausted this avenue, please contact the Department at broadband@dccae.gov.ie Please provide them with details of your query, the operator(s) you have contacted and your Eircode. Please also provide permission for them to pass your details to any relevant operator(s) in the course of our investigation into your issue. If a solution cannot be found, they will change the colour of your home from dark blue to amber to allow for an alternative solution to your broadband problems.

 

 

How can I improve my broadband speed with my existing service?

There are a number of ways to get the best from your existing broadband service:

Interference from other devices

  • If you are using wireless to make a connection then other wireless devices may interfere. DECT phones (wireless handsets for fixed lines) and baby monitors can cause a lot of interference. Other wireless devices like TV senders (Chromecast and Apple TV) may also interfere.
  • Move baby monitors, DECT phones, etc. away from your wireless modem to improve the signal. Check with your service provider as to how to change the WiFi channels to get a better signal.

Position of your wireless modem

  • The position of your wireless modem can affect the wireless performance. If the wireless modem is against a wall, beside a large metal object like a radiator or beside a mirror, the wireless signals can be affected. In older houses the thicker walls will interfere and in newer houses the foil backed plasterboard will also interfere.

Distance from your devices

  • The distance of your device from the wireless modem will affect the quality of the signal. The limit for good WiFi is about 30m when unobstructed by walls, etc.

Extending WiFi coverage

  • Wireless coverage can be extended/improved by using ‘Powerline adapters’. These adapters plug into the sockets in your house and extend the WiFi coverage into hard to reach areas.

Regular updates

  • Make sure that your computer gets regular updates to keep the operating system up to date.

Clearing the cache

  • Clear the browser cache on a regular basis by deleting cookies. Your computer stores all kinds of information when you visit a web page. This is to make it easier to reload next time you visit page or website. But when the cache is full it slows down.
  • There are many programs available that will clean your computer and search for Spyware and other unwanted software.

Keep your browser up to date

  • Keep your browser up to date with the latest version or change to a newer one.

Streaming and peer to peer traffic

  • You may have peer to peer traffic running in the background. This will slow down the performance of your computer and use up bandwidth. Disable or delete such programs.