> I support IrlOffline too but they spend much too much time arsing around
> and not enough doing the things that count.
>Well, each to his own, but I personally don't think that meeting with the
Telecommunication Regulator and the Minister for Public Enterprise is
"arsing about". They're two members of a very select group in this country
that has any real power to smack Eircom down. And although tangible results
of the seminar arranged by the group (before my time) are hard to guage, I
think it was a groundbreaking achievement. It's never happened before.
IrelandOffline did it, and in the process convinced its members to keep
working with us and supporting us. And now the Blackout is helping us to
achive that again - just recently we had to deal with a lot of very unhappy
campers on the IrelandOffline forums, but now they're much more upbeat. And
once again, we're growing our membership. That's not arsing about; that
counts. At least in my opinion anyway.
> Things that count in my book are lobbying and applying political
> pressure. If you want politicians to kick an issue into touch then you
> have to make them sit up and listen and the only way to do that is to
> prove you either have enough money or votes to make a difference. Thats
> what IrlOffline need to realise - instead of blabbering on with this
> strike bollox.
>IrelandOffline realised this a long time ago. We're actively lobbying
politicians on an ongoing basis, most notably a Fianna Fail Senator that
Martin Harran has met in person, and a senior Fine Gael TD that I met myself
less than two weeks ago (and will meet again next week). We're also
encouraging our membership to write to their TD's and other relevant parties
Yes, the Blackout idea could be considered "lame" or "playing to the media"
by some, but every organisation that wants to get its message heard has to
play the game. Look at the "bollox" Eircom are presenting us with - cuddly,
touchy-feely ads telling us how lovely Eircom is, in stark contrast to the
absolute incompetence the management has proved time and time again; and a
large rodent telling us we should all get on the net because it's cool.
Well, we know that, but can't get on the net because it's too bloody
expensive. Most people I know would like to take the rat out back and show
it the nine.
This "strike bollox" is drawing media attention to the organisation, and
more importantly the problems. Yes, we're blabbering, but at least this time
someone is listening. I've been ranting and raving for years about this
whole farcical situation, but it meant nothing because the only people who
heard me were my friends, and they weren't even listening properly because
they've heard it all before. Now the media are listening and they're talking
So far, we've had articles on the net in The Register - who think we're a "a
well-organised and increasingly vocal pressure group" - and
ElectricNews.net. We've been featured on page three (fnaar!) of the Irish
Times, in an article where the ODTR expressed solidarity with
IrelandOffline, or at least the goals it wants to achieve. Elana Kehoe was
interviewed on Dublin's LiteFM this morning, and will be on RTE Radio One's
Five Seven Live this evening; Live95FM's Limerick Today tomorrow morning,
and is also scheduled to appear on South East Radio and Radio Kerry.
All that tacky publicity leads to education. People reading those articles
and listening to those shows will know for a fact that they're not the only
ones complaining about the high cost of Internet access, and that someone is
out there trying to help them. Some of them may even get involved, by
joining the organisation, or maybe even knocking the Internet on the head
next Friday. But the key is that they're learning.
The ones who decide to have a poke around the website will learn some facts
about flat-rate and broadband Internet services; services they're being
denied by Eircom in Ireland. They'll learn how they can make their voice
heard in simple ways that take little or no effort (how long does it take to
change a sigfile?) And they'll learn that a simple thing like writing a
letter to their TD is something that could make a change, and is encouraged
by an organisation that knows that political lobbying and ultimately
legislation is the key to a lasting solution.
> They'd be better off getting the sites they want to support them to
> join them in a voting pact and make that a publicised thing. That might
> have a bit more success, maybe not a lot
>I honestly hadn't though of that Noel, so thank you. For the most part I
don't think voting pacts work, because people - particularly Irish people -
are "traditional voters", but the threat alone might have some effect (if we
all keep schtum :). Again though, I hadn't thought of it, and I don't think
anyone else in the group had either, so I'll mention it to them.
> but a bit more I'd say than a silly one day strike that nobody who
> matters is really going to notice or react to.
>It's probably silly to some, but hell, Linux is silly to some. Which has the
Irish media discussed more recently? :)
> The clincher is that, if they didn't make a difference when they
> had Mary O'Rourke and Eircom in the one room with their disgruntled
> membership, how do they think this is going to improve the situation
> one bit?
>The seminar was never going to bring an immediate change, neither is the
Blackout, and it's unlikely the next "silly" idea we start raving about will
either. We realised that right from the off, and we don't promise or expect
immediacy. We just want to get the ball rolling, and maybe even guide it
along the right path. The only genuine, long-term solution to the problems
in Ireland is legislation, and we all know how long legislation takes to get
through the houses and to the final signature. But the only piece of
legislation that can make any difference whatsoever at the moment is the
Communications (Regulation) Bill, and that's been pretty much shelved for
the moment. So we have something to work towards. It's not going to happen
overnight, but it will happen. And maybe, just maybe, it'll happen just that
little bit faster with your support.
Adam Beecher - Acting PRO, IrelandOffline
Users Bringing Affordable Internet Access To Ireland
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