Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Lesbians and the Internet

September 6th, 2007 · No Comments · Blogging, Consumer blogging, Social Media, Social Policy

otherwise titled Demand is hardly THE issue…(no porn here – move along lads)

The reason many people will get irked when and if they hear one of the government’s excuses for poor broadband takeup (lack of demand by the public) being backed up by a prominent journalist is that many of us go down the pub, or go to work, or take the bus also.

In my case, lets’ talk about my ‘pub’. I talk to lesbians a lot. As owner of SapphicIreland I get to meet a few of them, and listen to a few more, it’s an internet site – the only one in Ireland actively focussed on providing discussion and support for lesbian and bisexual women. You need broadband to use it properly as dialup would send you to la la land given the amount of time the messageboard software would take to load.

So if you are Aine, 18 years old (or in a lot of SI members case coming out in your 30’s) and living beyond the pale and think you are the only lesbian in Ireland, having broadband to find another lesbian or at least read about Irish lesbians is fairly essential. However Aine and few other Aine’s can’t get broadband and it’s not that they don’t want it or won’t pay for it! Other Aine’s have broadband but its crap broadband.

The reason that many Aine’s can’t get broadband? They are many – lack of connections, lack of landlines, poor planning and infrastructure. The reasons for crap service – it’s Ireland we put up with it – NTL HELL, Digiweb not showing up, Eircom saying lines are ok and then saying they are not, BT not being able to do something cos Eircom won’t let them, billing problems and direct debit hell…

Now you might say that I have never met a lesbian who didn’t need or want broadband cos I run an internet site for lesbians. Actually I don’t know many people who don’t use the internet or don’t want to use the internet – I know many who won’t pay for satellite’s, dishes, landlines, outages, poor customer service and being ripped off. I even know some heterosexuals (shock horror!) who have similar ethics/dilemmas! I think that saying that those of us who think broadband supply is THE issue are talking only to ourselves are really missing the mark and being condescending to ‘ordinary’ users or potential users whomever they/we might be. Of course service providers say demand is a problem – they want our euros! It’s far too fecking easy for them to blame consumers than to increase competition and improve the bloody service we pay for!!!

I’m not a tech journalist, I’m not someone wanting to start a company here. (instantly see’s her opinions being trivialised now in all the hot air!) I don’t need an OECD report to tell me about the problems in the management/monitoring and provision of broadband in Ireland. I set up an office this year and broadband set up was a problem – not as big a problem as some others but it took ages for a 21st century supposedly modern country to get sorted. I lost my home connection for weeks due to a service providers incompetence and that was a HUGE issue for me. Wifi hotspots and the cost of them are big issues for me in my work also. My friends on the continent pay half the price for 4-8 times the service/speed/capability.

These I suggest are some of the REAL issues that the government and the service providers need to be tackled about – frequently and often. Irelandoffline raised those issues, I was a reader of it’s mailing lists/message boards far far before I was a blogger or a BB user. However it couldn’t keep going on thin air, so when it wound up did people think these issues would go away? Or the capability to talk about the issues or dispute the spin?



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