I'm posting this on Siri as a test, well on voice recognition anyway. It's genuinely useful, if, you can't type for some reason. It's also handy for setting alarms and voice dialling!
Their voice recognition is actually very accurate.
407 posts • joined 5 Jun 2010
I'm posting this on Siri as a test, well on voice recognition anyway. It's genuinely useful, if, you can't type for some reason. It's also handy for setting alarms and voice dialling!
Their voice recognition is actually very accurate.
Don't worry they'll fix that by just deleting that awkward data protection legislation that has been in the way of such efficiencies for decades thanks to those meddlesome Eurocrats.
You'll now have the freedom to allow the paranoid security state led by Big Sister to monitor your every move.
Orwell was right on most things. He just got the date a couple of decades wrong and, given the era he was writing in and the gender biases of the time, didn't predict it could be Big Sister.
My one question on this is legal.
If the car maker is taking over the driving, it's very likely that they'll also be taking on some or all of the liability for accidents caused by the car when it is driving.
I could see this stuff getting very legally complex and expensive.
I think Apple are being a bit ridiculous keeping other rendering engines out of iOS. I'm not sure why they even bother. It would be a far more vibrant platform with Chrome and Firefox properly on board.
I can't really see any advantages to forcing everything into WebKit / Safari.
Application Brake.exe has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
If the problem persists, contact the vendor or crash slowly into a wall.
There was a glitch in the previous version of OS X where the launchpad (iOS style rapid launcher which is genuinely useful for launching apps by typing a couple of letters of the name rather than trawling through the Applications folder or wherever you've put them).
I constantly had an issue where icons from the launcher would get "stuck" permanently on the screen over the top of every bomb else. The only way to reset it was to use the terminal and KILL the Dock process or log out and reset everything.
That bug persisted trough multiple versions of OS X and I definitely reported it,
There's a huge difference between Android's distribution and Windows in so far as the majority of Android installations are actually skinned versions of the OS that are highly customised by manufacturers and most of them bundle huge amounts of their own apps.
So, basically all that Google would have to do is not require bundling of the their own apps?
Most of them are pretty excellent, especially Gmail and Google Apps etc, so I would imagine a lot of people will download them anyway.
I can see there's an issue for app developers competing against Google, or Apple for that matter on iOS (but it has a far smaller market share in most of Europe - exceptions being Ireland and Britain).
Just as long as they don't have all the "fail-dangerous" electrical mismatches with the current USB-C cables and devices!
I don't want my ears blown off because some manufacturing error misidentifies the USB-C headphone jack as a USB-C tumble dryer power supply or something like that.
That move was planned long before Brexit. They're just consolidating a load of offices scattered around London as it makes a lot more sense to have everyone in one place for a whole load of logistical reasons.
Meh! Sure half of you lot pronounce "th" as "f"
As in "Arfur is having a barf"
People in glass houses ...
We certainly do except it's called CrimeCall... Same concept almost exactly though.
Any similarity is mere coincidence!!
Over here Ireland we have kilometres and Euros but we also have pints of beer and enormous 3-pin fused plugs. The sacred plumbing tradition of these islands has also been preserved - usually keeping the hot and cold water carefully separated for absolutely no logical reason!
Dual-SIM phones are fairly unusual in Europe too but I think it's largely because (with a couple of exceptions) in the vast majority of countries you'd typically buy a network subsidised phone. So, naturally enough they're usually SIM locked to their original network until you pay down a minimum term contract.
EU voice and text roaming is increasingly just included in your typical "bill pay" plan but, data is still a bit stingy and expensive.
For example I'm using Meteor (Eir) in Ireland:
€35 / month : 30GB 4G data (as well as absolutely unlimited data to Facebook, Instagram and Pokémon Go... Which is a bit pointless), unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 50 minutes of international calls to most destinations (including mobile) and unlimited EU voice/ text roaming but only a stingy 1GB of EU data... So, when I roam I usually bring an unlocked android phone to use as a mobile WiFi hotspot with a local SIM.
It is dying because the telcos can't get access to the same range of network equipment that their competitors using open GSM / 3GPP standards can and they've all sorts of hassle getting first shout at handsets and other gear.
Also CDMA One (IS-95)/ CDMA 2000 (IS-2000) should be confused with the generic cover of CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) which was around as a concept before either Qualcomm system for example it is used by GPS satellites and is also uses in 3GPP standards like UMTS (also known as W-CDMA).
Where the GSM family is standards absolutely won out is that they are an open, totally modular system where you can easily implement multivendor platforms using all sorts of equipment from loads of different companies without that much difficulty.
The other system is far more proprietary at least at the radio interface level. (Switching and data centre stuff is more or less the same for any telco network).
ALL of the CDMA One / CDMA 2000 systems will cut over to pure LTE eventually with VoLTE for voice. That finishes their dependency on proprietary gear.
CDMA isn't really used at all in Europe other than a small Nepal on the Czech Republic. CDMA2000 on 450MHz was used for data only in a few countries where analogue NMT-450 was used but, it's largely been replaced by much faster LTE.
Also, a few places use it for machine to machine stuff; mostly almost closed networks owned by utilities to read meters.
But, in general European spec handsets don't have any reason to support CDMA, so given its a huge market, I'm guessing we'll be seeing more Intel radio chips sets here than you'll see in the USA.
Not really, I just think that it's very easy to go after consumer product companies while absolutely ignoring the 400 ton home-grown elephants in quite a lot of rooms around the world.
The fact that these companies get away with not paying tax in the first place is political. The fact that certain companies are selected to pay tax all of a sudden is political.
What would be non-political would be uniform and proper enforcement and proper international taxation arrangements.
The Apple and Ireland ruling still has to show that it can prove that the taxation regime Apple received is selective. If the ruling was available to any company / broad category of companies, it won't be a competition case at all. So, there's still quite a way to go with this in terms of appeals before it's over.
If you want to resolve tax planning though, you need international treaties and some degree of harmonisation to stop companies from just sailing between jurisdictions, which is effectively what Apple was doing, between the US and Ireland.
I'm just hoping all the various tax authorities and EU competition authorities go after the massive Wall Street and London based, as well as Frankfurt and Paris based banks, the oil companies, the major telcos and the other extremely well connected or even formerly state owned companies that seem to be paying a pittance, with the same vigour that they're going after Apple and some other 'sexy brands'.
I am annoyed that Apple seem to be 'innovating' to avoid tax, but at the same time I think they are right to a degree in calling this 'political' as the target has been very selective: an iconic US brand and a small country that can't just tell the EU to go away (as the bigger countries have done on things like fiscal deficit rules).
There's huge "aggressive avoidance" going on all over the place. It's not limited to Apple and it's certainly not limited to Ireland. These companies effectively set their own rules by having such enormous persuasion power either using lobbying tactics in the Washington DC and elsewhere or, somewhere like Ireland (and lots of other countries and EU regions and US states that find themselves in similar positions) holding the carrot of job creation out and threatening economic armagheddon away if there's any innovation on tax collection policies.
I just think we need general improvement of enforcement across the board, but I think it'll be a cold day in hell before we see major action taken against the financial services sector in particular, but also big energy or other 'pet industries'.
At the end of the day, it isn't the IT sector that due to pathetically poor regulation nearly drove the global economy off a cliff. It was the financial services sector, who are still largely treated as some kind of gods of capitalism, despite everything!
So, obviously the most important thing at the moment is to go after the IT sector and coffee companies.
I still think It's odd one as you wouldn't really rank Sweden's judiciary as highly corruptible or politically influenced. One would assume it's likely to be a model of jurisprudence?
I mean, there's a long list of countries that I would consider far more likely to have a risk of political interference in court cases. In general though, most of the small, fairly neutral, Northern European countries tend to be the most likely to actually give someone a fair trail.
Surely his biggest risk is actually being in London, particularly during a period when it is leaving the EU and all the European Conventions on Human Rights and courts as well as the UK's own Human Rights Act etc may be irrelevant very soon and the place is being run by Big Sister.
TalkTalk is a good name for them ... All Talk!
I wonder about this kind of approach.
Spending money on retrofitting homes with modern levels of insulation, heat recovery ventilation, high insulation windows and sensible levels of insulation in plumbing systems would make more sense.
The insulation levels found in a lot of buildings in the UK and in Ireland is often really primitive.
Even something simple like getting rid of "immersion" tanks would make sense. I am not aware of anywhere else in the world that heats water by storing it in a bare copper cylinder, often insolated by a badly fitted fibreglass "jacket" held on with tie strings.
Elsewhere in the world water heaters are usually highly insulated tanks that suffer from very very little heat loss. There's actually no reason for things like electric showers and instantaneous high wattage water heaters if this stuff is done right. You should be getting your hot water from solar and whatever fuel you are using to heat your radiators and storing it in a super efficiently insulated tank.
Classic systems in these islands basically blast heat into an "airing cupboard".
Britian and Ireland need to address the obvious before going to solutions like smart metering.
A major programme of retrofitting homes would be a less PR-sexy but far more impactful measure.
We've some degree of this going on in Ireland with grant aid and tax incentives to upgrade things but it really should be scaled up.
It's a vile mix of spewing and barfing simultaneously.
The budgets and time frames for production aren't what they were when the big networks dominated the whole market.
People may end up paying for subscription models or they may not, but TV is extremely expensive to produce (at least with any quality) and as we get more and more 'content' to fill space, a lot of it is just garbage and recycled old ideas.
Picard talked the aliens to death, Kirk was more likely to date them!
I think I might stick with driving around with a tank of highly explosive liquid under the back seat instead. I mean, when's the last time a petrol car ever blew up in a blazing inferno? I'm sure that's absolutely never happened.
Yeah, well that's another extreme again and a nice euphemistic term like "off shoring" or "outsourcing" gets used ... It's more the replacement for "slavery" than "piecework".
It's a classic high end product marketing tactic. They're creating an allure of exclusivity, exactly like a high end department store, a night club you can't get into very easily, a fashion event at Paris Fashion Week, that kind of thing.
You're writing articles about how hard it is to get into their 'exclusive' press conference, giving them tons of free publicity about how exclusive their product is.
The reality is it's an expensive (yet affordable) high-end smartphone that is absolutely mass market and basically as common as muck. A lot of mid-end consumer product brands do this - mostly in fashion, cosmetics, automotive etc.. It's just a bit unusual in the IT sector as we are still getting used to the concept of marketing IT products as "affordable luxury" consumer goods.
What Apple has done in a way that most IT companies have never really achieved is turn an IT device into a highly sought after consumer good. They are still very much IT products, but they cross the line into areas of design and marketing that would have usually been reserved for high end audio-visual devices that are 'fashion statements'.
It's *very* clever marketing. You really do have to hand it to them!
I think in all likelihood the EU and the Euro will simply plod along and keep going without much in the way of major meltdowns. It tends to just continuously fumble its way out of crisis and keep going somehow.
There are fundamental questions about what the future of the EU and whether there is even a shared vision of where it's headed. The idea that you can just have "ever closer union" doesn't really add up as there isn't really the willingness to even discuss making it a federal democracy or even use the word "federal" without having half the room start fainting in horror.
So, without being a federal democracy the concept of any process of "ever closer union" is really a bit of a non-starter.
So, I think ultimately it just has to stay as some kind of halfway house between federation and intergovernmental organisation and probably jettisoning members who don't want to be in either.
I still think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
The major problem we're having in ireland is a lack of housing and office space.
There's a hangover in the cities due to the property bust which kind of saw the banks go from one extreme to the other - lending to absolutely any daft scheme in the middle of nowhere to refusing to lend to anyone on a remotely sensible basis. The construction sector is only starting to catch up again in the last year or so, but it probably can scale up very quickly if necessary - probably based on plenty of flexible immigration from Eastern Europe and by calling some of the ex-pats who are in Australia and so on home.
As far as I can see here, most people are quite comfortable with Eastern European immigration. We know it works both ways and most of us have been on the other side of that story ourselves / our families in the past. The influx of people from countries like Poland, the Czech Republic has actually opened up huge business opportunities. We networked the feck out of the situation and it has genuinely opened up huge business and cultural links.
There are some major projects underway in Dublin and Cork in particular, and I'm pretty sure we can probably accommodate any influx of Brexit escapees.
I don't think though any city anywhere in Europe would be able to instantly accommodate a huge influx without a few bumps, but we'll get there! It's not like any functioning property market has supply vastly exceeding demand, at least not where anyone actually wants to live anyway.
But, don't worry we'll save all your IT companies, banks and anything else you care to send this way from the whims of the Tories and UKIP, and it seems we also allow cloud-based tax residency. Or, at least that's what the European Commission is alledging and we're about to defend to the hilt... So, more or less the same shinangans that you're used to in the City of London, just with a different accent and more craic.
Also, passports! If you have an Irish granny, or if you think you might have one, or if you're resident there for a period of time for any legal purpose, or you're particularly good at football (in which case we will find you an Irish granny ...) you can take up citizenship.
It's not that we wish don't wish the UK well. It's just that we have to take every opportunity to protect against the knock-on effects of Brexit and we're not likely to be shy about rolling out the red carpet.
I seem to remember in the 2000s a lot of airlines still had big multi-layer carbon paper based high tech ticketing and computers that looked like something out of a 1970s sci-fi movie.
Ah, the good old days! I remember when you had physical tickets and airlines didn't assume that everyone's a potential terrorist.
Also, Aer Lingus used to try and usually succeed in serving a full fried breakfast on a 40 internal Irish flight and to think, that was all for the price of an iPhone 7 or a small car. I'm sure it was totally worth it.
This is why I charge my phone overnight in a heavy glass bowl positioned away from my bedding or anything papery and have a smoke detector in the bedroom and the study...
I don't fully trust lithium ion batteries on charge.
They've already got a head office located in the iCloud.
They were actually high interest LOANS not grant aid. Not a cent was written down. The bail out is a whole other kettle of corporate fish. The Irish were effectively forced to borrow vast amounts of money under the "no banker left behind" policy.
Don't worry, other EU tax payers got or are getting that back, with hefty interest and avoided their banks going bang as a result.
Some telcos will use terms like "fiber" to describe anything ... 28.8 modem over a POTS line is technically "fiber powered" once it gets past the local central office.
Simple really : They'll launch the iPhone 7, everyone will coo over it for weeks and forget this sorry incident ever happened.
It's the Mom Corp school of Public Relations.
You'd kind of wonder why a company that is hugely profitable is still so obsessed with tax avoidance. It's hardly like they're living by the pin of their collar. I know they were in the 1990s but, at this stage it's a bit nuts.
USB C is too bloody complicated!
Well, it looks like I made a colossal mistake settling down in Ireland again after the recession.
If those MNCs pull out, that's 200,000+ jobs gone and absolute economic ruin.
Couple it with likely trade barriers due to Brexit, falling £ Sterling values and Irish SME's being massively exposed to the UK market, you could be looking at Ireland going back to being broke in the medium term.
I suppose I'd better have my exit strategy planned, just in case, as this looks like a potential mess!
Still remains to be seen if the legal ones are clear.
I've a feeling this one will drag for months, if not years.
At the end of the day, all of these companies basically play places that are desperate for jobs and investment off each other and extract maximum subsidies.
I remember seeing a documentary about Amazon in the UK and their Welsh warehouse had received subsidies to setup in terms of laying out a red carpet of facilities and infrastructure to support it. The same company was basically wiping out large sections of the retail economy in the UK, none of which was receiving supports.
You've car plants in cities that desperately needed investment that were incentivised by tax breaks, free facilities, you name it.... red carpet rolled out. These are super wealthy companies in many cases that do not need state aid.
Budget airlines approach small cities' airports and basically get those cities and regions to help market their products.
Add in all the European "national champions" who were state aided and subsides for no reason other than national pride was being injured or there were threats to loss of employment.
Then throw in the banking industry which was basically state aided to the tune of hundreds of billions, if not trillions when you add it all up. The banks just pretty much put a gun to the head of every state with a threat of financial armageddon if they weren't bailed out and they were 'too big to fail' and so on.
The list is endless and it happens all over the world.
The same business lobbyists tend to bemoan social welfare and public expenditure yet they're all in receipt of huge handouts, often to the determent of other businesses that play entirely by the visible rules and don't have the lobbying power or scale to come up with these complicated structures.
As states and regions and cities, we're being played. It's as simple as that.
One could even argue the City of London is being played as banks mould it to suit their needs, not its citizens'. New York is being played, the US government is being played.
All of these companies have us by the short and curlies and states simply aren't as powerful as they used to be. The balance has tipped towards corporates and it is getting worse and worse as time goes on and more power is consolidated in richer, and richer companies.
Ireland's not the bad guy here, it's a country that had a dire need for investment to create jobs. So, did "whatever it takes" to get those and that clearly included ensuring that this company paid ludicrously low tax.
We're all competing to try and lour investors and and are being rewarded with the right to work there and earn money, which generates tax and economic activity. The profits however are simply not being taxed.
The effective tax rates across Europe will tell you a completely different story to the headline corporate tax rates. Everyone's talking out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to this topic. Even high tax countries like France have effective rates of corporation tax that are really surprisingly low.
Dell pulled a load of facility out of Ireland in 2009 in Limerick causing about 1,200 job losses and something like 9,500 indirect job losses to suppliers and service companies.
They moved to Poland and that plant was then sold to Foxconn.
The issue remains to be seen if this will cause job losses though.
Well, considering that Irish voters were promised time and time again that the EU did not have tax competency and it has now acquired it by function creep, I can see this resulting in no other EU referendum in Ireland ever passing again.
BTW: We may need to have a referendum on approving the Brexit deal if it in any way impacts our constitution, so there could be a massive political sticking point ahead.
What this will come down to in Ireland is jobs. If there are job losses in Apple or other MNCs that impact the economic recovery here, there will be a major political problem to deal with.
Apparently the Russians picked this up last year and kind of went "Damn alien signals messing up our readings!" and didn't tell anyone, assuming it wasn't all that big a deal.
Not really, the risk to Ireland is that this could spook the horses and cause a massive economic crisis if MNCs up and leave.
Ireland's general plan is to not rock the boat too much and maybe have some kind of smooth transition period to just flat, low corporate tax.
The one thing that worries me though is that this may end up being a witch hunt by some of the larger countries against the smaller ones. One would wonder what level of state subsidies various national champions in France, or Germany have benefitted from over the years. Or how much state aided marketing through things like overseas investment loans etc were used to prop up infrastructural companies and so on were used by various states.
It's relatively easy to go after US multinationals in a small country that's somewhat beholden to the EU due to the recent fiscal crisis that it's just about over. But, lets see how easy it would be to probe some of the large German or French companies.
The Irish have always been extremely conservative about ceding tax competencies to Brussels and it was one of the sticking points in every EU referendum there. If there's any major issue that impacts the Irish economy negatively, I could see Ireland becoming a lot more Eurosceptic very quickly.
Simple reality in Cork is that this is ~6000 direct, mostly fairly well-paid jobs in a city of about 200,000 people.
Morals aside, if Irish politicians don't work to protect those, they'll be out on their backsides and they know it. It's a proportional representation system with a very fine balance of power too, so there is no such thing as a 'safe seat'.
Some of this goes way back to 1991 when Apple was a high-risk "beleaguered" company and far from the massive entity it is now.
For years Apple was very much only holding on by the skin of it teeth. It's only really in the post iPod era that it went through the roof in about 2003-4 and onwards.
They were still a bit of a weird underdog, quirky maker of an alternative OS and strange looking computers until the iPad and then iPhone launched in 2007 and we got what is now the megacorp.
The Irish Government would have seen it as 'taking a chance' on a dodgy IT company at one stage. It's hard to believe now, given how huge it is. But, Apple arrived in Ireland in 1980, only employing 19 people at Hollyhill in Cork. This was pre-Mac, never mind iPhone. It was actually in Cork before the first Apple IPO share offering in 1980....
LONG time resident.
The EU isn't levying the tax. It will attempt to force the Irish Revenue Commissioners to collect it and put it into the Irish exchequer.
The argument is that because Apple allegedly got a special deal that wasn't available to any other company it was a distortion of competition and illegal state aid.
Not to mention that for the time being BT, like OpenEir is still required to maintain copper access for voice and certain legacy services. The line cards and network equipment may be located in a street cabinet rather than a big exchange, but it'll be a long time (if at all) before they start as actually pulling copper out of the ground, if the ever do.
I could see a situation where they won't take new copper orders if fibre is in place though.
We've already got a situation in Ireland where every VDSL2 modem / router rolled out for FTTC has a VoIP ATA built in. Notably, only Sky don't do this. The standard modem/router access gateway as from Eir, Vodafone, Digiweb etc all have two PSTN sockets and a built in ATA. The network manages the QoS for VoIP back to the soft switches so, it's more like cable telephony rather than over the top public internet VoIP.
Vodafone (fixed line) began to default port voice service over to a managed VoIP platform and off the OpenEir POTS network, which is clearly more expensive. Digiweb seems to have offered VoIP as their primary PSTN product from the start of FTTC.
To me, it looks like the Irish general plan would seem to be to radically shrink the legacy PSTN network over the next few yesrs, pushing as many lines over to SIP based VoIP as possible and then replacing dial-tone service with smaller VoIP based MSANs for the lines that remain in service. It's shrinking anyway due to migration to mobile and businesses moving SIP trunks, hosted PBX service etc etc ... But, I think they'll be giving it an extra push so it'll get to the stage that the only PSTN and ISDN still in service will be either very long, rural lines that don't support adequate VDSL, a few specials circumstances and absolute hold outs who don't have broadband.
Cutting the whole PSTN over to VoIP cabinets
Also copper multicore longer runs aren't generally replaced here anymore and haven't been for a long time. New housing developments, business parks and areas where multicore cables have had problems are usually served by a fibre-linked remote unit. You'll see a little group of cabinets containing an Alcatel or Ericsson voice / ISDN exchange, a cabinet with DSLAMs for ADSL /VDSL and then remote FTTC cabinets scattered around.
Realistically though, I think copper is going to still be in active use for decades to come. It'll just fizzle out over time and more and more fibre will be deployed.
The only logic I could see in removing old copper lines might be to free up duct space for more extensive fibre.
Wireless is fine in rural areas where you've tons of spectrum available due to low density. If you threw everyone in a city, or even medium sized town onto a wireless network for all of their broadband needs you would completely run out of radio spectrum and the whole thing would collapse in a heap.
Mobile reception in cities essentially uses smaller and smaller cells to attempt to support more users simultaneously but it has its limits.
Ideally we should be putting as much data into fixed line networks as possible and keeping radio spectrum for genuinely mobile service and rural services.
I'm sitting in on the edge of Cork City with 360 Mbit/s
You can get 1Gbit/s in some of Cork's suburban areas from Eir and from Siro in at least a couple of county towns.
It's very hard to generalise about Irish broadband. It's very good if you're in a cabled area or on a phone line that's less than 1km from a street cabinet and basically every line is on one of those.
You'll always get exceptionally broadband in some odd locations. It happens me in rural France and rural Massachusetts too.
If you're on a rural long line, you shouldn't be using Eir at all. Check out fixed-wireless options like Imagine LTE.
The issues are about density of housing and one-off-homes in the countryside.
It's actually very easy to provide solid broadband in a small village. Throw in a couple or VDSL2 cabinets with vectoring enabled and link it back to the core network with fibre - everyone in the village has 100Gbit/s.
Its exceptionally difficult when you scatter 100 homes across 20 square miles and connect them back with kms of copper to a tiny village exchange somewhere.
You either have to replace copper with fibre or LTE radio signals to get any kind of solid services.
I don't know about the UK, but in Ireland very, very little of the Irish phone network or the power network was 'direct buried' (i.e. just stuffed into the concrete / soil with armoured cables). The vast majority of it is in ducts, or where it's not in ducts, overhead. So, laying fibre in most cases is just a matter of pushing micro ducts through and then blowing the fibre down those to the end users.
That's precisely what was done with the FTTC cabinet rollout, where the only major civil works involved in most cases were about getting 230V AC power to the cabinets from the nearest 'mini pillar' (ESB Networks connection point) and it's how they're extending that to full FTTH.
Eir actually set out some pretty strict requirements for how phone lines would access homes quite a long time ago. It's always been ducted, but it's evolved over time so that maybe about 20 years ago they added an ECU (External Connection Unit) which is like a mini version of an electricity meter cabinet and ducting going back to the nearest vault or telephone pole with inspection access at the bends. This was specifically done to future-proof for fibre. It's completely overkill for a POTS line but it's very useful for fibre.
Eir had a plan to either roll fibre, coax or just extra copper lines at some stage in the future, so they had a plan for this a long time ago, as they obviously knew this was around the corner eventually.
The state-owned power utility ESB Networks also has some very strict requirements for provision of ducting and inspection points which has allowed for very easy rollout in areas that aren't absolutely ancient.
ESB uses a very structured setup where you've a substation feeding 'mini-pillars', each of which feeds several homes. It's possible to quite easily push fibre through this and site splitters underground in the vaults.
SIRO is their joint venture with Vodafone for FTTH. That's running fibre over ESB infrastructure to get into homes via the ducts, overhead wires and ultimately coming out at the meter cabinet on the side of the house and into an ONT.
SIRO is also fully wholesale / open. So, it's got multiple ISPs using it. So far, just Vodafone and Digiweb but apparently Sky and several others may jump onboard too.
If infrastructure in the UK is mostly direct buried, it could explain why it's proving more difficult to upgrade.
--- How an Irish POTS line is installed --- :
---- How to connect an Irish electricity customer ---:
Full guidelines for a development:
OpenEir also gives you a huge amount of information about their network and how it all works, what's available where, what they're planning and so on :
(Geeky I know, but this is a geeky site and I have no idea how this compares with the UK or elsewhere)