Thursday, July 07, 2016

Rural Broadband @VodafoneIreland vs @VirginMediaIE #178

How do people in the rural Ireland put up with shite broadband? I am on holiday at the coast in Wexford near Cahore Point. There are no mountains or big buildings to block signals. As a Virgin Media customer I have unlimited data - this is great in Dublin. But here on the coast all I can get is an Edge network which provides practically no broadband (see below). Virgin Media uses the Three Network, but I am told by Virgin staff anytime I am on a call with them that it is a full service and that I should get the same signal as Three customers.

In order for me to get mobile broadband for the summer here in Wexford I am using an old iPhone 5 with a SIM only service from Vodafone. I've set it up as a WiFi hotspot and link my laptop and Kindle to it. For €20 a month I get up to 5GB data - I will only use this during the summer. The data speeds are up to 10 Mbps, which is fine for blogging, reading newspapers online, and checking Facebook. It means I have to have two phones, but it is a small price to pay to get relatively decent connectivity. 

Here's a comparison of speeds for the two phones - the iPhone is connected to Vodafone (8.56 Mbps), the Windows phone is connected to Virgin Media/Three (0.12 Mbps). I used on both phones side by side at the same time to test speed:

So - kudos to Vodafone for their service. Virgin Media - I am waiting........?

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