Wednesday, January 09, 2008

No Wi-Fi for Dublin

Dublin City Council has decided to not provide a city wide WI-FI service. There were two reasons for this.

Firstly at €27 Million it was deemed too expensive. In an era when many tourists coming to Dublin are bringing WI-FI enabled devices like mobile phones, PDA's and laptops could reliable access to WI-FI have made their stay more enjoyable? How about business people stuck in taxis on the way to meetings, would easy and cheap access to the internet have been useful to them? In truth there would have been many financial reasons to justify the expenditure.

The second reason given by the council is a little more honest, "the plan would be contrary to EU law on state aid". In plain speak, there are too many companies making too much money from either providing expensive and limited WI-FI in spots around the city or selling 3G services that depend on absence of WI-FI. The city council is not allowed, or perhaps just not willing, to provide a service that would challenge those companies. A service will be provided on a test basis to areas like Ballymun and Ballyfermot, where there is a lack of coverage, or in other words areas that seem less profitable for private companies than the City Centre or Dublin 4.

There are a few free WI-FI spots in bars and restaurants around the city and the council will provide a service in libraries and public buildings but for the moment most of us will have to continue paying private companies.


sliabh said...

People on the move (like business men stuck in taxis) can't use wifi as the technology doesn't support hand off between transmitters.

People who are stationary using devices will tend to be in hotels, cafes and so on that are already providing wifi.

And as the council quite reasonably stated attempts to get municipal wifi going in other cities are being held up by the fact that there are very poor usage levels. There are far better things for the council to be spending €27m on. Especially when anyone that pressing a need for mobile internet access can get Mobile broadband (that is actually mobile) from any mobile operator for about €15 per month.

Treasa said...

Paris is providing free wifi and there are a hell of a lot more companies providing broadband services there than there are here.

see here.

I wasn't impressed with Dublin's decision.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason why ireland will be left by the wayside when it comes to technology any more companies thinking of setting up in backward little ireland dont bother go to paris instead