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Broadband and the rural customer

Procurement will not begin until 2017 and it could be five years before the plan is fully delivered. The Department said it received five responses, but because it is a complicated process, it will not be able to grant contracts until 2017.

What does this mean for the large number of customers outside of the main urban centres? It means that there is limited speed, poor access to email and shared services and severe restrictions in the areas of Cloud-based storage and other Cloud solutions.

Every new minister at the Department has publicly stated that they would work to bring world-class broadband to the rural communities but I fear that by the time they have signed off on the infrastructure it will be out of date and not fit for purpose.

Maxamise have many clients in non-urban broadband areas that are suffering from poor Internet performance and service. At present many of these clients are served via copper connection to the telephone exchange, which has limited speed and, more importantly, limited distance capabilities. One client, in a mid-sized town, has only 3mps speed for all data and email. As they need to transfer large files (up to 60MB) daily, this is a big issue. Some of the mobile phone providers have stepped in to offer alternatives, but, yet again, there is a lack of coverage and capacity in many areas.

With the slow and often unreliable speeds available in Ireland, it is often impossible for rural GPs to get access to the Internet for patient records, test results and ongoing research, etc. Now more than ever, health service systems rely on computers for records, accounts, results and a host of other business functions that are required to run a business and many of these functions are just not reliable or fast enough outside the urban centres.

An area often forgotten is GPS availability. Many mobile phones have GPS but require an Internet connection to work out the route, etc. This and the abysmal failure of Eircode must further frustrate GPs in country areas, when looking for locations for geographically isolated patients.

While slow broadband will not totally stop a person working, the really slow speeds will account for a massive amount of time lost and the frustration associated with it.

As we move further towards Cloud-based systems and shared data services we can only begin to imagine how this is going to have a negative effect in the next few years.

Solutions? 

We have had to start offering our clients advice on file optimisation and times emailing, etc. This is in response to many, many hours of productivity being lost every day. A good start is to ensure that all streaming services are turned off on your computer. Many users tend to listen to the radio or a streaming service like Spotify, which will use up a large percentage of your broadband capabilities. Another bold one is Facebook, which may be on in the background. This again eats into the broadband at an alarming rate. Always check the other computers, smartphones, tablets, etc, on your network to ensure that none of these are streaming music, radio, videos or even TV stations. I had one client who had a TV in a waiting area showing Sky News all day through an Apple TV box and he was wondering why his network was slow.

Some places even provide guest access to the broadband. This is all very well if you have a superfast service, but when you do not the overheads that this applies to your network will be enormous.

In short, it pays to be vigilant with how your broadband services are divided up among your devices, and remember in this and age, for every one person on the network with a computer, you can bet your bottom dollar they have a phone connected as well. If you want to check your network, download a free IP scanner and run it. You may be surprised at the results.

Ladybird Mid-Life Crisis

Hands up who remembers those Ladybird books from our school days, I do.

Well we have a number of actual Ladybird book titles we sell in store, however, they are not the innocent stories we remember but are actually extremely funny takes on life and people in our lives.

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They include Mum, Dad, Wife, and Husband. They are cute and very funny, perhaps a great addition to a doctor’s surgery or office waiting room.

This is The Mid-Life Crisis and makes for a perfect gift for someone who is perhaps just in or coming into mid-life, great fun!

9.95 @ www.thegadgetstore.ie and @ B Cool! Dundrum Town Centre

 

DJI Phantom 4

The all new Phantom 4 has just arrived and the world leaders in drone technology are still leading by example.

Whether you are looking for a drone for commercial use or simply as a hobbiest you can’t go wrong with a DJI.

They may be expensive but you know you are getting value for your money.

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The Phantom 4 boasts sweeping curves, elegant lines and a polished shell that redefines the classic Phantom shape. Its exquisite detailing and matt finish composite components add a level of finish and quality never seen before in a flying camera.

Enjoy 3.1mi (5km) of range, with complete control and a live 720p HD view of everything the camera sees.

Flying is now for everyone. Just double tap and you are up in the air while the new Obstacle Sensing System keeps your Phantom clear of objects in the way. With another tap, Smart Return Home brings it back.

These are just some of the amazing features on the new Phantom 4 – they just keep getting better and better.

1,599 @ www.thegadgetstore.ie and @ B Cool! Dundrum Town Centre

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Bluetooth Speaker

Star Wars, from the name to the unmistakable and iconic musical intro, is one of the world’s most recognised brands, if we can call it a brand now?

The movies have touched the lives of millions and the new movie has brought more younger fans into the fold.

Of course the spaceships, the things of dreams, had centre stage. None more so then the iconic Millennium Falcon, Han Solo’s heap of junk as it is fondly called on numerous occasions.

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It may be called that in the movies but it is one of the coolest spaceships ever imagined. 

Now, you can own this collectable Millennium Falcon that comes with a built in Bluetooth Speaker that has to be heard to be believed.

The after burners light up at the back, just like the in the movie, it is extremely detailed and a perfect centre piece on any desk or shelf.

Definitely a talking point and a great way for fans and music buffs to enjoy their music at home, in the bedroom, pad or office. We love it here at B Cool!

69.95 @ www.thegadgetstore.ie and @ B Cool! Dundrum Town Centre

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