It is safe to say that with all the attention and focus on the National Broadband Plan over the last two or three years that one of the side effects of this has been a surge in broadband rollout and awareness in Ireland. This author feels that the sector is missing out on a big trick. All the focus is delivering high-speed broadband either wirelessly are wired to the home but nobody seems interested in helping the end-user set up their Wi-Fi within the home.
It is a fair comment to say that the broadband providers offer fairly cheap and basic modem routers to the client. (I am being polite here). The homeowner does not have the knowledge to configure their Wi-Fi around their home and this leads to frustration when they have high-speed broadband coming to the front door but still have black spots within the house and devices constantly dropping off their network.
A friend of mine recently was told by his broadband provider that he had 22 devices hanging off the Wi-Fi within his home. He was convinced his neighbour was piggybacking until he did an audit of all the devices within his home. He was stunned to discover he had four smartphones, three iPads, two laptops, one desktop, two Google minis, two Nest smoke detectors, two Nest thermostats, one CCTV, one iPod, one printer, and three smart TVs. How can the industry expect end-users to be able to configure 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz, security and mesh coverage?
Would the average Irish homeowner pay for a home visit by an engineer to recommend the best router/s and to connect their devices? Would they pay an annual fee for tech support? I think they would. I know there are companies who cater for commercial clients and there are companies who target the residential market for home audio, CCTV, home automation etc. The obvious solution is for the broadband providers themselves to not just connect the modem and run but to offer an additional paid service to help the homeowner do the important piece, setting up their home network.
Maybe Sean Gallagher’s Smarthomes was ahead of its time back in 2010? Anyway, just putting it out there!