Minister Ryan appoints Alex Chisholm as New Chairperson of the Commission for Communication Regulation
Commenting on the appointment Minister Ryan said “High speed broadband is critical for the Smart Economy which is the foundation for the Government’s economic recovery plan. ComReg’s role in creating the necessary regulatory conditions to facilitate investment and ensure healthy competition in the telecoms and broadband markets is all the more important now and I have every confidence that Mr Chisholm has the qualities to fulfil this role at what is a particularly challenging time for the industry. I wish him well”
Mr Chisholm will succeed Mr John Doherty who has held the position of Chairperson for the last 2 years. Mr Doherty, while continuing in his role as ComReg Commissioner, has recently taken up the position as Chairperson of the Body European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). The Minister paid tribute to Mr Doherty “I would like to take this opportunity to thank John for the considerable contribution he has made in the past two years as Chairperson of ComReg and I wish him every success in his role as Chairperson of the BEREC. John will bring his extensive experience and commitment to this new challenge”.
Minister Ryan also paid tribute to Commissioner Mike Byrne on his appointment as Vice Chairperson of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) with a view to becoming chairperson in November 2010. “It is a tribute to Ireland that both Commissioners Doherty and Byrne have been appointed to such high-level international positions. It is recognition of the high regard in which Ireland is held and is a great personal honour for them both.”
Note to Editors
Mr Chisholm’s appointment is in keeping with the practice of rotating the Chair of ComReg. The other two members of the three-person Commission, Mr John Doherty and Mr Mike Byrne have held the position in the past. Mr Chisholm was appointed to the Commission in 2007.
Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) replaces the European Regulators Group and acts as an exclusive forum for cooperation among national regulatory authorities (NRAs), and between NRAs and the Commission, in the exercise of the full range of their responsibilities under the EU regulatory framework.
BEREC is made up of the heads of the 27 national telecoms regulators. Decisions will be taken, as a rule, by two-thirds majority and by simple majority when BEREC gives opinions in the context of the Commission’s analysis of measures notified to the European Commission by national regulators. BEREC decisions will be prepared with the support of independent experts. BEREC will also advise, support and complement the independent work of national telecoms regulators, especially when it comes to regulatory decisions with cross-border aspects.
The Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) was created by a European Commission Decision in 2002.Comprising the national spectrum authorities of the 27 EU Member States, the RSPG provides the Commission with advice on high level policy matters in relation to spectrum. Representatives of the EEA countries, the European Parliament and the regional and international bodies may attend as observers. Before being transmitted to the Commission, the RSPG’s expert opinions are submitted to public consultations of all spectrum users, both commercial and non-commercial, as well as any other interested stakeholders. The RSPG therefore constitutes a unique platform for Member States, the Commission and all relevant stakeholders to discuss and co-ordinate regulation of radio spectrum.
At the IIA Congress 2009 “Better Business Online in a Tough Economy: Money, Marketing, Monitoring & Mobile”, sponsored by Realex Payments, over 300 delegates from a broad range of Irish business sectors were provided with two days of information, advice and networking.
Speaking at their largest industry event to date in Ireland, Facebook’s Director of Online Operations, Colm Long, highlighted how businesses can take advantage of the Facebook platform, saying: “There has never been such a great opportunity for businesses and organisations to connect with new users and customers around the globe. The web is now firmly at the centre of our daily lives and allows businesses of all sizes to raise awareness, connect with new customers and grow not only in Ireland but more importantly in export markets also.”
Maeve Kneafsey, IIA Chair, addressing the delegates during the plenary session, acknowledged that the needs of Irish businesses have changed with the recent economic upheaval.
“What Irish businesses need today are insights that will allow them to take action, not theorise. This is always a test for most businesses when you start to apply Web technology to help solve real business challenges.
“The 2009 IIA Congress was all about sharing real experiences that illustrate the successful use of the Web to build business, engage customers and make good choices on how to use the Web effectively. It is clear from the examples shared by companies such as Realex Payments, dotMobi and the other speakers, that Irish online businesses are and can successfully compete on a world stage.
“The 2009 IIA Congress also looked down the line, and provided us with a foretaste of how the latest Web innovations will provide new opportunities for the consumer and business. In particular, allowing us to search for information in a less time consuming way and returning results that are far more personalised to suit our needs.
“Colm Long from Facebook, one of the most innovative users of the next stage in web communications, offered us a direct insight into how the web of the future will look, while Trey Harvin, CEO of dotMobi, pointed to the likely explosion in Ireland of mobile web content. One thing is certain, the Web will continue to be the most dynamic, constantly changing and preferred source of information across multiple media channels.”
Colm Lyon, CEO Realex Payments, spoke about devising a strategy for accelerating growth in an internet business, finishing his presentation with the announcement that Realex Payments were one of a group of five founding members of the Internet Growth Alliance initiated by Enterprise Ireland which aims to support in a practical way the international growth ambitions of Irish businesses. More information available at www.alliance.ie.
A key industry event, the Congress also included an afternoon of breakout sessions coordinated by the IIA’s Working Groups. Delegates also had the option of attending one to one web strategy clinics on specific topics. These clinics were booked out well in advance of Congress.
This year the IIA & Enterprise Ireland Net Visionary Awards took place on the evening of May 21st allowing delegates to mix a productive day of business with a celebratory evening of pleasure.
The newest feature of this two day event is Meetball, a free Demonstration and Networking Breakfast on Day 2 which allowed those who could not make it on May 21st to meet some of the IIA members and find out more about their products and services.
Maeve Kneafsey, IIA Chair and MD of Elucidate was recently asked to contribute to a Sunday Times article about broadband in light of Vodafone‘s entry into the market. Here below are her thoughts which make a handy pocket sized guide to choosing broadband in Ireland.
What should consumers expect to get from a decent basic broadband package?
One of the big things for consumers to watch out for is not just the monthly cost, but also to compare the speed or megabytes (mb) they are being offered and all the additional extras involved in installing the service into their home or business. There can be a lot of hidden costs, so check the detail and then make your cost comparison. Watch out for the cap on the amount of files you can transfer in any given month as this can be really expensive if you go over your cap. The opening offer from Vodafone for a 2mb broadband connection for EUR49.00 a month, includes installation.
What is the best type of broadband – (ADSL), cable-TV connections, or wirelessly through the air via a satellite dish or aerial?
Depends on what is most important to you, convenience (being able to move around), speed, cost and of course if the service or choice are available in your area. Most areas don’t even have a huge choice as often served by one or two service providers.
Wireless via satellite can be expensive, wireless via the air is reliable and convenient (depending on providers coverage of course) but can be a bit slow (e.g. 3.5mb or download or upload speed), sky offer 8-9mb which seems very fast, ADSL still seems to be the fastest and the most reliable, but it is not always the cheapest and it may not be available in your area. Also watch out if it says it is an up to 2mb it may be less than 2mb.
What is the best way of shopping around for a deal?
Maybe start by using a very handy online tool called the Broadband Calculator that allows you to fill in your preferences and it will deliver a result – http://www.callcosts.ie/broadband/Broadband_Calculator.175.LE.asp which is (from what I can tell) an independent source of information. It asks you questions such as do you want to exclude the cost of a telephone line rental as some providers don’t need a phone line to operate, what speed you want etc.
I would also use the price comparison websites http://www.broadband.gov.ie/List+all++Services/ to compare costs and download speeds. However, your journey does not end there, because then you have to check that your shortlist providers are available in your area which you can find out from http://mapviewer.broadband.gov.ie/ServiceByLocationSearchWF.aspx.
Then double check there aren’t any hidden costs associated with installation and add-ons to your monthly charges, which may not have been mentioned earlier. You need to double check exactly what you will see as a total charge on your monthly bill before you agree to sign up to any service provider. No harm in asking them to confirm by email. You should also check how long it will take before it will be set up (“Is there a waiting list?”) and exactly what is involved. You don’t want to be sitting waiting all day for them to arrive, or have a team ready to work without any access to broadband. So ask how this is managed and can you book a specific time for installation.
An added difficulty can be getting a response from the providers, especially if you contact them via their website or email. But if they do offer you to contact them via email or their website and don’t respond to your query, it might indicate how well they will deal with you in the future if you are experiencing problems with your service.
Who do you think is offering the best deal at the moment?
I would love to answer this one, but it depends on what is the top priority for you. Is it speed, ability to move around, reliability, availability in your area or cost? Good luck!
Maeve Kneafsey, IIA Chair, presents a website review slot on TV3’s Irelandam. Below is a list of her most recent website selection.
Also available on her company’s site Elucidate.ie.
A search engine that gives something back to the environment. For every 1000 searches you make using Ecocho, two trees will be planted funded through the proceeds from advertising. Trees are grown via official Government-accredited projects.
KPMG will run quarterly and final year-end audits on the amount of carbon credits purchased and “retired” by ecocho. It’s a win, win option for searching the net.
Let’s start by saying if you have a health concern you need to consult a qualified doctor and not rely on the Internet to self-diagnose. Can you imagine if you got it wrong! On the other hand, it is always good to feel confident enough to ask more questions rather than feel powerless over your own health. If you want to find a good source of health information check out www.google.com/health Hopefully, Google’s highly effective page ranking system will weed out the less reliable sources in favour of the truth.
It’s summer and we are looking forward to all the kids playing outside in the sunshine with their friends. Inventing games and obstacle courses and then falling into a warm bath and bed exhausted at the end of the day. But this is Ireland and the chances are it is going to rain at least some of the time! So if you are ready to lock yourself in the shed at the end of the garden to escape your little darlings, then introduce them to a few really good websites with great games for kids. www.miniclip.com has a huge variety of really good games for kids and also shows at the top of the homepage the most popular games. It’s very easy to use and the games are excellent but you will need a fairly fast connection to enjoy the games properly.
Another website full of interactive fun, but much more focused on girls and, to be honest the girl in us adults, is www.stardoll.com. Here you design your dolls outfit with the latest in fashion, as well as being able to pick your own celebrity and dress them to your taste. It’s a bit like the high tech version of those felt material dolls we used to make before the arrival of the Internet. But be careful, it is addictive!
This is a great website for finding jazz venues across Europe and the rest of the world. You can also enjoy some video’s of artists live in those venues. Very easy to use, perhaps a bit hard to see as the type size is tiny on the homepage, but a real peep-hole into the global jazz scene. Nice source of information if you fancy some good jazz when you take off during the summer or plan a city break.