The National Broadband Scheme (NBS) Rollout in Ireland is not going to happen, on time, if ever. If you are pinning your hopes on the National Broadband Scheme coming to you then you need to unpin them and sort out your broadband Internet access out your own self.

If you live in rural Ireland you have very few Internet options:

  • Dial-up, it works but, oh, Soooooo slow.

  • Move to a town, 'What do you expect where you live?' is the usual reply you receive to a complaint

  • Mobile Broadband. IF you have a signal, the chances are that there will not be sufficient network capacity to give you broadband speeds

  • Line of Sight broadband. A good option if you live within sight of the microwave towers used for this system. The signal travels in straight lines, if you cannot see them, tough luck

  • Satellite broadband. Not perfect by a long, long chalk, but it's all you are going to get, so get on with it

The National Broadband Scheme was trumpeted as Ireland's version of broadband for everyone. That was how it was sold. There was a promise backing 2008 that every home in the country would be covered. Just check the map, and you will see that whole swathes of the country are not even covered by the scheme.

Most people who live in rural Ireland were elated when they originally heard about this scheme. They phoned up Three, who run the scheme, and asked when they would be connected. Three took five minutes to find out, during which some guy in an Indian call centre tried to sell you more Three services. At the end of the five minutes you were told 'It will be September 2010.

What has changed with the National Broadband Scheme?

The truth has come out. The position has been clarified.

If you live in an area that has ANY mobile phone coverage at all, then you are deemed to have access to broadband already. THIS is the number one reason why most of the households that were expecting to receive the 20 euro a month service under the National Broadband Scheme will NEVER get it.

It does not matter if the mobile coverage is so poor that it takes 2 hours to open any page. It does not matter that the mobile coverage runs 600 times slower than dial-up. It does not matter that most websites 'Reset the connection' because it is so slow they assume there is a fault.

The government say that is a problem you have to take up with the mobile phone company, as if they care!

If you live down a lane where the phone line is not suitable for DSL broadband, 'Take it up with Eircom' is all you are told.

Anyone living in the country in Ireland needs to abandon hope in the National Broadband Scheme rollout and sort themselves out a satellite broadband Internet connection.

The satellite broadband solution is not perfect, it is expensive, but it is the only broadband Internet solution available now and probably for the next 5 years.