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£42000 investment in Lochaber community broadband company – The Oban Times (subscription) 0

£42000 investment in Lochaber community broadband company – The Oban Times (subscription)

Ellie Forbes Updated: 17/07/17, 3:24 pm 1 Want to read more? We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Oban Times – subscribe today for as little as 56 pence per week. Subscribe Now 2 Scotland’s largest community broadband network is expanding.

Locheilnet, set up to bring better connections to some of Lochaber’s hardest-to-reach broadband spots, has received a £42,000 cash injection. Community Broadband Scotland (CBS), a Scottish Government initiative delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is supporting the group with a second round of funding to help upgrade and extend core infrastructure. The £42,000 will mean Locheilnet can upgrade its core network, including new masts at Treslaig and Tulloch.

The investment will see increased capacity for the existing network and the opportunity to expand. This includes the delivery of superfast broadband to Kilmalieu and Tulloch, near Roy Bridge. Jackie Wright, chair­woman of Locheilnet, said: ‘This is really great news.

We already provide a robust, fast broadband service to almost 400 rural householders and businesses.’ Calum Stiven at CBS commented: ‘Locheilnet is a leading example of what a community can achieve for themselves and others.

We’re delighted that this investment will support them to expand, bringing the benefits of better broadband to more people in the Lochaber area.’ References ^ Ellie Forbes ( ^ Subscribe Now (

Cheapest 4G VoLTE feature phone, 100Mbps broadband, new prepaid plans to remain Jio’s focus at AGM? 0

Cheapest 4G VoLTE feature phone, 100Mbps broadband, new prepaid plans to remain Jio’s focus at AGM?

Reliance Jio data breach: User details of 120 million subscribers leaked online “I am confident that with Jio… Your life is digital… And your life is beautiful,” RIL’s Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said 1 , concluding his last speech in February when Jio Prime came into being.

Now, prepare for the next wave as Ambani will take the stage again on July 21. Reliance Industries is holding its annual general meeting (AGM) on Friday, July 21, where the company’s chairman will address shareholders, investors and the nation regarding its biggest achievements so far and also make some announcements favourable to all. RIL’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani Screenshot from Jio Digital Life YouTube Video International Business Times, India , has a confirmation that there could be a “key customer centric” announcement to be made on Friday, so it is without much stress that all Jio users must watch Ambani’s speech closely.

The last few speeches by him have brought some of the biggest and disruptive telco plans into effect such as Jio Welcome Offer, Jio Happy New Year offer, and Jio Summer Surprise offer. Is it time for Jio Monsoon Surprise? The timing of Reliance’s upcoming AGM corresponds with the nearing Jio Summer Surprise expiry, so one can expect something new on recharge options and offers available to Jio Prime members.

After all, Ambani had said in February that the company is “committed to returning your trust in us… and you can count on us to give you manifold more surprises in the coming days.” There could be new plans for Jio prepaid customers as far as we can guess. This is crucial than ever considering the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is seeking the telecom operators’ views on “minimum floor price” for voice and data tariffs, which in normal terms could mean the end of free 4G and free voice calls.

A customer selects his number of Reliance Jio Infocomm 4G mobile services in Mumbai on September 6, 2016. INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images This could benefit the incumbents as they’ve been struggling to keep up with Jio’s aggressive data and voice tariffs. As a result of Jio’s “predatory pricing,” India’s biggest telecom operator Airtel witnessed a massive slump i 2 n its profits during Q1 2017.

The telco reported a 72 percent drop in quarterly profit, with the net profit falling to Rs.

373.4 crore in the three-month period ending on March 31 from Rs.

1,319.2 crore in the same period a year earlier. With “minimum floor price” for voice and data, telcos could soon be able to lighten the financial stress. As Idea Cellular noted in its presentation to inter-ministerial group (IMG) last month, having base prices for telco services will “generate adequate profits to invest and then compete based on quality of services.” Beyond new 4G data and voice tariffs, Reliance Jio might shed some light on a series of mysteries surrounding FTTH broadband and feature phone.

Cheapest 4G VoLTE feature phone… Rumours are rife with details about the cheapest 4G VoLTE-supported feature phone to be launched by Reliance Jio. What better platform than an AGM gathering.

Reliance Jio LYF 4G VoLTE phone leaked in live images ahead of launch TechPP According to reports 3 , Jio’s 4G VoLTE feature phone will cost as low as Rs.

500. This could help consumers, especially the ones in rural areas, take advantage of Jio’s high-speed 4G data and enjoy free VoLTE calls across the nation.

100Mbps broadband anyone? JioFiber (previously reported to be known as Jio GigaFiber) has been making the rounds on the internet for a while now.

The FTTH broadband service will offer up to 100Mbps download speeds. Reliance Jio has reportedly been testing this service since late last year but hasn’t rolled it out for public yet. The testing of the high-speed broadband is being carried out in select cities, and we are hoping the upcoming AGM will shed more light on its commercial rollout.

Jio GigaFiber 1Gbps release date set in June: Report Reliance Jio If the rumours are true 4 , Jio might also launch a Welcome Offer for its JioFiber to give 3 months worth free service to customers to test the network. Post the free trial, Jio has plans to introduce aggressive broadband plans that will challenge Airtel 5 , ACT Fibernet 6  and BSNL 7 , which already have high-speed fibre optic broadband in play. Are you excited about Reliance Jio AGM on July 21?

Let us know in your comments below.

References ^ said ( ^ biggest telecom operator Airtel witnessed a massive slump i ( ^ According to reports ( ^ If the rumours are true ( ^ Airtel ( ^ ACT Fibernet ( ^ BSNL (

Minister Clarifies National Broadband Plan For Kildare 0

Minister Clarifies National Broadband Plan For Kildare

Fifteen per cent of Kildare’s 89,500 premises will require state intervention if the government are to follow through with their plan to provide high speed broadband to all premises in Ireland. That’s according to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Denis Naughten who was responding to an inquiry by Kildare North TD Frank O’Rourke. The Government has colour coded areas in Ireland, blue and amber.

The ‘Amber’ areas are those that may not receive sufficient broadband support by the commercial providers. In Kildare, the areas with a majority of buildings in Amber zones are Kilmore, Knockanally, Cappagh, and Bareen. The Minister added that three broadband providers are tendering to fulfill the state intervention role and this process is on-going.

The exchange, in full, is as follows: Frank O’Rourke (Kildare North, Fianna Fail) To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources when a person can expect to receive a broadband upgrade, in view of the fact that the quality of service and the current connections speeds are not fit for purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. Denis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent) I propose to take Questions Nos.

657 to 662, inclusive, together. The Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to deliver high speed broadband services to every city, town, village and individual premises in Ireland.

The Programme for Government commits to the delivery of the NBP as a matter of priority.  This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment by the telecommunications sector and a State intervention in those areas where commercial investment has not been fully demonstrated.  The National Broadband Plan will provide high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location.  The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector so that to date approximately 1.4m or 61% of the 2.3m premises in Ireland can get high speed broadband of a minimum of 30 Megabits per second and this footprint is expanding. In April, eir signed an agreement with me committing them to follow through on their commercial plans to provide new high speed broadband infrastructure to 300,000 premises in rural areas.  eir has committed to doing this work over a 90 week period with an average of 500 premises passed per day.  A copy of the Commitment Agreement is available on my Department’s website .  The decision by eir to invest in infrastructure to deploy high speed broadband services to an additional 300,000 premises in rural Ireland was taken by eir on commercial grounds. Neither I nor the Department have a statutory authority to direct eir in this regard.

Quarterly updates on progress of the eir 300k roll-out will be published on the Departments website.  The Q1 figures have been verified by my Department and the eir roll-out is in line with the Commitment Agreement. In April I published an updated High Speed Broadband Map which is available at .  This map finalises the State Intervention Area for the procurement process and is an important milestone in the procurement process. The Map shows the extent of the State Intervention area and also the areas targeted for commercial services. – The BLUE areas represent those areas where commercial telecommunications providers are either currently delivering or have indicated plans to deliver high speed broadband services, – The AMBER areas on the High Speed Broadband Map represent the areas that will require State Intervention and are the subject of the current procurement process.

There are over 89,500 premises in County Kildare of which c.13,400 or 15% fall within an AMBER area and will be part of the State led Intervention under the NBP.  The remaining 85% fall within a BLUE area and will be covered by commercial operators; this includes c.9,100 premises that form part of eir’s plans to deliver rural high speed broadband between now and end 2018 (Light BLUE on map).  Information on eir’s planned rural deployment is available at . A breakdown of the townland areas the Deputy refers to are included in the table.  Specific premises information can be obtained by accessing the High Speed Broadband Map and entering the premises Eircode at County Townland AMBER Premises within the NBP intervention area BLUE Premises covered by commercial operators LIGHT BLUE Premises in the planned rural deployment Total Number of premises in townland Kildare Ballycaghan 1 1 48 50 Kildare Ballyoulster 2 88 0 90 Kildare Barreen 9 0 0 9 Kildare Cappagh 57 0 7 64 Kildare Donaghcumper 17 760 0 777 Kildare Killbrook 17 0 25 42 Kildare Killeenlea 7 0 17 24 Kildare Kilmore (Ed Cadamstown) 44 0 3 47 Kildare Kilmore (Ed Carbury) 13 0 5 18 Kildare Knockanally 40 0 0 40 Kildare Newtown (Ed Donaghcumper) 67 183 0 250                         Kildare Turnings 0 0 7 7 Kildare Turnings Lower 2 6 29 37 Kildare Turnings Upper 12 0 34 46 My Department is in a formal procurement process to select a company or companies who will roll-out a new high speed broadband network within the State Intervention Area. The State Intervention network will be a wholesale network and retail service providers will be able to use the network to provide enhanced broadband services to their customers.  The procurement process is being intensively managed, to ensure an outcome that delivers a future-proofed network that serves homes and businesses across Ireland, for at least 25 years.  The  three bidders have indicated that they are proposing a predominantly fibre-to-the-home solution.

A fibre-to-the-home solution means that householders and businesses may get speeds not just of 30 Megabits per second but much higher, potentially up to 1000 Megabits per second. With the finalisation of the map and following extensive dialogue with bidders, the procurement is progressing to the next stage.  On 20 June 2017 my Department wrote to the three bidders in the NBP procurement process inviting them to submit their “Detailed Solutions” by 26 September 2017.  The ‘Detailed Solutions’ stage is the last stage of the procurement process before Final Tenders..   The timeframe for the procurement continues to be dependent on a range of factors including the complexities that may be encountered by the procurement team and bidders, during the procurement process. The Department will engage with winning bidder(s) on the best roll-out strategy, in order to target areas of particularly poor service, business needs and/or high demand.

The rate of demand for data services has increased exponentially in the last four years and this presents a continuing challenge for telecommunication operators, regulators and policy makers both in Ireland and internationally. Recognising this challenge, I specifically included in the Programme for Government a commitment to a Mobile Phone and Broadband Task force. In July 2016, I established the Task Force to identify immediate solutions to broadband and mobile phone coverage deficits and investigate how better services could be provided to consumers, prior to the full build and roll-out of the network planned under the National Broadband Plan State intervention.

The report of the Task Force was published in December and is available on my Department’s website. In producing this report, the Task Force worked with Departments, local authorities, ComReg, State agencies, the telecoms industry and other key stakeholders. The report contains 40 actions that will alleviate some of the telecommunications deficits across Ireland and the implementation programme on mobile phone and broadband access identifies 19 of these actions as areas where immediate and direct action by Departments and State agencies can ensure accelerated benefits to consumers.

In order to maintain momentum created by the Task Force, I established an Implementation Group to drive and monitor the implementation of the actions, bringing together all key stakeholders identified in the Task Force report with responsibility for delivery. This group will be formally reporting every 90 days on progress made on all actions.  I published the first such quarterly progress report on 13 June 2017, which is available on my Department’s website at and which shows that considerable progress has been made, particularly in relation to the implementation of actions identified for Q1 2017. The work of the Task Force will also assist local authorities in preparing for the roll-out of the new NBP network once contracts are in place.

In addition, following regulations which I signed last year, ComReg recently announced the results of its auction for the 3.6GHz radio spectrum band, which means an 86% increase in spectrum capacity to meet the growing demand for mobile and wireless broadband services across rural and urban areas. The Regulator has awarded 15 year licences for the rights of use in this band which will provide a degree of stability and create future investment certainty. Spectrum was also awarded in lots covering 9 urban and rural regions across the country.

In my Department’s Estimates for 2017, I have secured an €8 million provision for RTE to allow it to free up the 700 MHz spectrum band. ComReg in turn will make plans to allocate this spectrum to provide for significantly enhanced mobile coverage. The 700 MHz band is particularly suited to rural environments where the signal can travel long distances.

These initiatives should assist in enhancing the quality of mobile phone and data services across Ireland and particularly in rural Ireland.