AGENDA: Current work priorities for the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) [Representatives from ComReg]
Place: Committee [Room] 3 (CR3)
Live stream from here:
Comreg appeared in front of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications Natural Resources and Agriculture this afternoon.
The most depressing part was the inability of any of our public representatives to sustain a line of questioning that gave any difficulty to ComReg. Eamon O'Cuiv was easily the best, but for the most part they sounded uninformed. In a very smooth performance, Commissioner Alex Chisholm answered mostly softball questions, and slid past or under anything that could have caused trouble.
O'Cuiv said he thought DSL was incapable of delivering what consumers needed at peak times, but the Commissioner said that he has been constantly surprised by copper's ability to overcome its limitations and he expects it to continue to do so. According to him, DSL variants can deliver 30Mb/s.
One interesting snippet; apparently eircom have insisted that a copper pair be also available to residences that install fibre connections. This is so that they can have access to a low-cost basic service. Presumably this is what ComReg means by delivering choice.
The other Commissioner, Kevin O'Brien, apart from introducing a few slides, was silent for two hours.
Eircom would, wouldn't they? Be nice if Comreg at least pretended to be objective and operating in the interest of the state.
Well, what came through, was that they are regulating for urban Ireland only. Eamon O'Cuiv tossed his pen and his mobile phone about in disgust but the Commissioner remained impassive and continued on as before. At no point did he accept that mobile coverage was weak or that it was his responsibility to bring some order to the network topology.
According to him 50% of the country has access to 100Mb/s UPC but there is very little demand for it.
He claimed also that there would be continuing mobile coverage to 90% + under some licences, until 2020 at least, but no one asked any further questions about that, so its not clear which licences he was talking about.
The transcript should be available in a week or so.
they might have access to it - but decide they cant afford it with the prices charged
I would hope copper pairs would remain installed with fibre installations, unlike with Verizon's FiOS in the US. A copper pair will probably serve as a very good source of backup power depending on the configuration of the exchange and local loop.
Backup power for what? You can only power a basic analogue phone handset. It won't power a DECT cordless base.
It makes no economic sense to maintain an analogue + ISDN phone network just for voice handsets when 110% of people use mobile phones and < 60% use fixed lines (1/2 of that is subsidy of people that don't realise that they can have the subsidy on Mobile)
I'm on a wireless link (not Mobile). Our phone still works during a power cut for a while. Everyone has at least one mobile here too.
Much in the same way an ISDN terminal can still provide one digital or analogue channel on exchange power, a copper pair could help power e.g. only phone services on the fibre NTE. It could at least allow the exchanges to provide only backup power supplies or centralised IP switching and get rid of the POTS aspect.
Just because watty might have service for a while after a power shortage certainly doesn't mean that every FWA provider or more importantly mobile phone providers who are not on a typical greenfield tower (like shopping centre femtocells or the base stations mounted to the side of urban buildings) or indeed ANY UPC cabinet will have a backup power supply in the event of a power outage. Going on transmitters and stations I've seen, very few nowadays have anything like a big diesel gennie or a cabinet sufficient to hold the required batteries.
In the future there will be no exchanges. They are an expensive waste of space and electricity.
Perhaps proper infrastructure standards need to be specified and legally enforced. Clutching onto 100 year+ old analogue technology isn't the answer.
very few people have a phone on an analogue line now that works when no local power. Less than 2/3rds have an analogue line!
This is going off topic but I want to correct a point there. Every exchange which is housed in a bricks-and-mortar building or shed of some sort will have some kind of battery backup. All the larger exchanges have some kind of diesel engine backup also. The main Drogheda exchange for example has a power generation unit designed for ship use. I really can't see how this issue can be ignored in the face of the significant evolution of the last mile.
As for something being an expensive waste of space and electricity, at least for existing buildings that would come down to the opportunity cost of having them used as an exchange instead of something else. In this country anyway, I doubt the economic value of the exchange sites are significant compared to the existing use they are put to. If IP switching was employed at every level, like what the 21CN programme for BT is doing, I suspect there would be some substantial savings in electricity too. I.e. using MPLS rather than separate PSTN and ADSL infrastructure.
I have to say I wish I had an Eircom copper pair.
I'm stuck in an apartment with Smart Telecom Fibre to the Building. The speed of this crappy service is capped at 10mb/s with a 170GB cap.
If I had a copper pair also, I would have more choice and the possibility of higher speeds!!!
I think what Eircom is rightfully getting at here is that no apartment buildings should be single operator monopolies.
The transcript of the Committee meeting with ComReg.
I look forward to the arrival of this FreeG!