back to article What does EU farm subsidy get spent on? Yes, broadband for Irish farmers

In its efforts to “get every European digital”, the European Commission has raided agricultural funding to try and get farmers surfing. Despite dedicated funds such as the Connecting Europe Facility being slashed, the Commish has found a new way to get cash for rural broadband roll-out. On Tuesday, Agriculture Commissioner …

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Irish farmers or Facebook bandwidth?

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Do keep up, even Shaun the Sheep has his own Facebook page, as has Daisy the Cow...

[For icon see: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/Guinness.jpg ]

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if only...

If only the EU would wake up and see that this is needed everywhere and stop listening to the snake oil salesmen from bt openreach and all the other telephone operators in Europe. Thank goodness Ireland is leading the way, and soon they will have fit for purpose connectivity. The rest of us are stuck on copper and obsolete FTTC until the buroids get some basic lessons in physics. You cannot brand a copper phone line connection as 'fibre broadband'. It isn't fibre broadband unless its a fibre to your home. Poor Northern Ireland is in the same boat as England and Scotland. Stuck on copper for another decade. Southern Ireland is rocking. Go Hogan!

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Happy

Re: if only...

While we're waiting, could I have another cup of tea please?

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Happy

Re: if only...

If only the EU would wake up and see that this is needed everywhere and stop listening to the snake oil salesmen from bt openreach and all the other telephone operators in Europe.

The EU was happy to partner with BT(*) and the result has been very successful. It's only when the UK government tries to get involved that things go awry (BDUK) - Broadband Delivery UnKnown :)

(*)"Funded by the EU, BT and Cornwall Council".

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Re: if only...

Why should I pay for your broadband? If it's that important to you, go and live somewhere else.

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Being from rural ireland, and stuck with an 'up to' 3 mb/s connection where the fastest I ever see is about 800kb/s I am delighted to see agriculture funding being misappropriated this way!

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"So-called next generation access in Ireland is at around 71 per cent, but in rural areas that figure is only around 8 per cent."

I'm wondering about the basis on which access is measured. There's an awful lot of rural Ireland. If access there is only 8% how can the national average be 71%?

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Ah, from memory Dublin (the county) has almost a third of the population and when you add in other cities there can't be much population left to cover a huge area of the country. Makes the rural value a small drop in a very big bucket if they count it per head (not that they would use the stats which favoured their cause the most of course)

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71% by population.

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Boffin

I think bandwidth lake is more appropriate

The Internet is not something that you just dump a load of stuff on. It's not a mountain. You see, the internet is like a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled. And if they are filled, then emptying them would create a lake.

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Good! You might scoff at networks for farmers, but modern farming is enhanced by having good connectivity. Forgot your image of a bod on his clapped out fergie scratching a living, modern farms are massive and professionally run enterprises with huge amounts of automation and computerization of assets, self driving tractors, uplinks for remote maintenance and diagnostics on kit etc.

Having infrastructure in place for this sort of thing rolls across the entire commercial spectrum and is massively beneficial for the countries concerned as a whole, and is a bit beyond having a few people extra getting facebook access.

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Anonymous Coward

In fact, this is the bit that _does_ make sense.

It's the other ruralites that can fuck off and either pay for stuff themselves or move to a city if they want to enjoy the benefits of things that require costly infrastructural investment that can only get decent returns in locations of high population density.

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Again, if it's that important to you, you pay for it.

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Go

>Again, if it's that important to you, you pay for it.

That's why the EU is funding it, the farmers need fast broadband just to be able to complete all the online forms that the EU requires before it releases monies... So because the EU likes to throw money at farming, they are helping to pay for it....

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Again, if it's that important to you, you pay for it.

Think of this scheme as the government collecting a few hundred million to build an underground line. When it's built, people still have to pay to use it, even though it was built with taxpayer's money.

They will be paying, and they'll be paying more than you for it too.

The current situation is that there's no high-bandwidth service available at any price in rural areas, largely because the mobile operators have, for most of the last decade, pursued a policy of dropping their customers' money straight into Apple's hands rather than expanding 4G services out to full geographical coverage (especially in a country like Ireland where the non-urban population is highly dispersed). On a business level, locking a customer into 24 months of overpriced data by using a shiny handset as leverage is a better return than provisioning a base-station that will cover only a couple of hundred dwellings.

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Re: if only...

@ mrs doyle: The rest of us are stuck on copper and obsolete FTTC until the buroids get some basic lessons in physics.

Obsolete? Where did you get that from, because it simply isn't. If I lived (say) 2 (cable) miles from the exchange rather than 4 I would probably have stuck with simple ADSL; as it is BT offered us an upgrade to FTTC just over 2 years ago and It suits me perfectly; if anyone came along and said "we can do you FTTP; would you like to upgrade again?" I would simply say no; FTTC meets my needs perfectly well. At the same time I have some sympathy with your until the buroids get some basic lessons in physics (I assume by "buroids" you mean "marketing") because misleading customers, both actual and potential, is not really good business practice.

In providing a new service (i.e. Broadband) from scratch there has to be a balance struck between how much to spend providing it and how much customers are going to be willing to pay. How long it will take to provide is also another significant consideration.; ADSL was capable of being rolled out fairly quickly; FTTC takes a bit longer and FTTP would take a lot longer still, with reduced certainty of customers being willing to pay the additional costs. I am perfectly happy to remain stuck on FTTC, and judging by other responses to your original posting I suspect that quite a few feel the same way.

I am no fan of the EU (anything but really!) but IMHO using the agricultural budget to improve broadband availability to the farming community makes a lot of sense, and (for what little difference it will make) gets my support. In the UK (and Ireland is very possibly the same) farmers have to use the internet for a lot / most / all of their mandatory paperwork (bit of a contradiction that, but you know what I mean) and having poor or no service is a real business headache for them.

ADSL followed by FTTC means that the greatest number can have a pretty good service in the shortest practicable time at a reasonable cost; even if FTTP is the ultimate goal missing out the intermediate stage of FTTC would have been a major mistake.

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