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Broadband choices in Ireland

Perfect timing! Just 5 days before I return to Ireland, Damien Mulley posts ‘Broadband choices in Ireland’, a good overview of the options available for consumer broadband internet connection.

I’ve been out of the loop for quite a while, and spoilt by the options available in suburban Southern California (which are, of course, pretty good). But this is a lot better than what was on the table when I left, 3 years ago.

What strikes me is that the upload/download speeds are quite reasonable and pretty close to what you’d see in the US. Similarly, the prices are finally near to the going rate in the US, once the various limitations and add-ons (required ‘bundles’, state taxes etc.) are taken into consideration.

However, virtually all of these deals use the horrendous concept of download capping! Given that I use this stuff for work, and routinely rsync around 30GB chunks of email corpora between central offices, colo servers, and my desktop, this just won’t fly. It could be argued that I’m therefore not a typical broadband consumer, who these deals have been carefully designed to cater for. But seriously — if a telecommuting software developer isn’t a typical broadband consumer, who the hell is? Hey telcos: a little flexibility goes a long way — don’t fence me in. ;)

All in all, it looks like Smart Telecom are the winners; 3Mb/s download, 512Kb upload — and most importantly, no cap — for EUR 35 per month. (And check out that XHTML/WAI-compliant website!)

I probably would have gone with Irish Broadband, but for the past 6 months the only thing I’ve been hearing about them via word-of-mouth has been bad news, detailing customer service meltdown after meltdown. Even the legendarily incompetent ‘biddies’ of Eircom seem to be getting better reviews nowadays.

Talking of Eircon, our dear old dirty-tricks-wielding celtic-tiger-throttling incumbent telco: the top Sponsored Link on a Google search for irish broadband is:

Irish Broadband — More speed, prices reduced by 25%, free modem & a free connection!