Monday, November 26, 2007

Digital hubris

The OECD did a survey (you can get the Excel file here) of the average broadband speeds offered to consumers in a range of countries. Guess where Ireland came: that's right, down near the Commodore 64 end of the scale.

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That's us over third from the right: hey, at least we beat Turkey and Mexico. Yay. we managed an average of 3.011 Mbps, against an OECD average of 13.707 Mbps. The Japanese manage 93.693 Mbps, but then they're not a knowledge-based economy like what we are, a digital hub for Europe and stuff.

Remember Bertie's championing of Media Lab Europe? He announced it seven years ago, saying, "plans are underway to develop a digital hub as part of our strategy for this country to be a leader in the new Internet-enabled economy. At the heart of this district will be Media-lab Europe, a unique partnership between my government and the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

Stirs the heart, doesn't it? The government knows the value of e-commerce, which is why they slapped a tax on every credit or debit card in the country. Ch-ching.

Of course, unlike Japan (where they probably use their fancy broadband for reading Manga and ordering pre-worn knickers), we're a knowledge economy now - that's why, according to the National Adult Literacy Agency, the International Adult Literacy Survey places about 500,000 Irish adults in the lowest literacy category.

Here's what we reckon: the government isn't being useless (as if...) when it comes to getting us decent broadband at decent prices. NO - this is part of a cunning plan to get us all reading books, which is what you have to do while you wait for the next YouTube video to download over a broadband connection built using string and tin cans and capable of speeds marginally slower the traffic on the M50 (which is slow, but not because of the toll booths - you know, that bit where you have to stop...).

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