So how can we reach for the sky? I’ll tell you later.
We may not all have proper full time jobs but may be able to use the internet to develop small part time businesses. I’ve read recently about a scarf knitting scheme by grannies organised over the internet. So hi tech meets low tech. You might set up a small site to sell a product or service over the internet and supplement the family income. If more people worked from home there would be more time for family life, less wear and tear on our roads and less fuel consumption. Are all our journeys to work really necessary?
People may have to emigrate to get work and they might use the internet to find jobs, accommodation and contacts and then use Skype to keep in touch with family back home. Years ago when people left keeping in touch by phone was expensive and near impossible for people in rural areas. The possibility of finding a job abroad where you are able to work from home in Ireland is not beyond the realms of possibility. Let us look for and invite these sorts of opportunities. Let us ferret out the small opportunities as well as the big.
Firstly we need to be able to connect to the internet at a reasonable price. I am not alone in thinking that rural areas need to have proper access to the internet. The EU through the European Space Agency and other investors sponsored the launch of a satellite called Hylas-1 and one of the main aims of this was to bring broadband connection to rural areas in Europe including Ireland. This film tells you more:
The Hylas service is targeted at areas where the wired broadband infrastructure is not available or is available at slow speed
Equipment Installation 275 euro+ vat 13.5%
Equipment 380 euro + vat 21%
One time activation fee of 30 euro + vat
Cheapest Monthy fee 29.97 euro + 21% vat
If you live in the country and have very little money this is a lot to have to pay out to get connected. I appreciate that MicroMagic have to run a business and cover their costs.
I can’t help having a look at what is happening over the border. Northern Ireland’s DETI have funded Avanti Communications to the tune of £1.1m to provide satellite broadband services to NI residents and businesses unable to access fixed line broadband. I understand this is approximately 800 users. People pay £99 to join and £25 monthly fee. Surely we have to look at doing something similar here in Ireland even if it shaves a little off the fibre optic budget. This is so important for our future. Ireland must reach for the sky.