What can broadband do for you?

Personal Life      Teleworking    Small Business


Reducing time wasted commuting

1. Does everyone really need to drive to the office every day? All at more or less the same time morning and evening, day in day out? 

By modifying your commuting behaviour (eg working two days a week at home and travelling to the office at off-peak times on the other three days) one could save one's commute time by perhaps 70% or more, and at the same time contributing to a general reduction in road traffic, CO2 and other emissions.

Example Current  Modified  
Commute time Commute time Saving
minutes minutes minutes
Monday 130 0 130
Tuesday 120 60 60
Wednesday 120 60 60
Thursday 120 60 60
Friday 140 0 140
630 180 450



With a home PC and a broadband connection you can be at home and at the office at the same time!

Using free software such as Microsoft NetMeeting and a
75 webcam, you can interact with,  see and be seen by your work colleagues whether they are in the office or at home like yourself. At the touch of a button.      

Avoid the traffic rush in the morning.   Answer your e-mails, and finish that report or proposal free of office interruptions.  

Travel outside peak travel periods when you do visit the office. 

With NetMeeting - you can communicate with anyone, anywhere, using your PC. With audio conferencing, you can call other PC users and hold conversations over the Internet.

You can communicate with several people at once. Share computer files with a number of people at the same time, using NetMeeting's built-in data-conferencing services.

You can combine data conferencing with real-time audio and video. You can share applications on your computers, exchange pictures, draw diagrams on an electronic whiteboard, and communicate with text-based chat.

If you use Windows 2000 or XP, NetMeeting software is probably already available on your computer.   For more information on NetMeeting....

Skype provides high quality free VoIP phone calls between Skype users using either the PC sound system or a USB compatible Skype handset which can be ordered online from their website.   Conferencing is also possible.   Sound quality is excellent over a broadband connection.  Requires Windows 2000 or Windows XP.   All transmissions are encrypted using the AES encryption standard.    The software download is free and there is no intrusive advertising.  


Commtech network security appliance supplier in Ireland

Make Telecommuting work for your business
NortelNetworks Meridian Home Office II brochure (.pdf)
"Security risks in Telecommuting" (F-Secure)
Introduction to eircom i-Stream DSL service
ComReg VoIP briefing note



2. Extend your office telephone network to your home office over the same broadband connection using a VoIP connection. 

Make and receive calls as if you were at work from the comfort of your home using the same extension numbers, direct dialling inwards and voicemail features.    Transfer calls to colleagues across the office telephone network or to their homes.  Use IP telephony to save on call charges - particularly on international calls.  Your outbound caller ID will display the appropriate work phone number, rather than your private number when you make business calls from your home workstation.

You will need an IP Telephone to work over your broadband connection to the office.  Two types are available - IP softphones and IP hardphones.   The softphone is a software program that runs on your PC using your PC's soundcard and a headset with a microphone to provide telephone functionality.   The IP hardphone is like a regular office telephone that is plugged into your network connection rather than your eircom RJ11 socket.

The phone calls are free!
IP phone calls are essentially free as long as they remain on the IP network (eg IP phone calls between your home and office system and calls to other IP phone equipped colleagues in their broadband connected homes.

Benefits of IP phone networking

Home based phone users can take advantage of office-based phone system features

Branch offices and remote employees are fully integrated, helping to improve the incoming caller's experience

Customers use one main contact number for your entire organization

One voice mail system serves all users, whether they are at their home desk or office desk

Reduces / eliminates the cost of deploying applications to remote users

Eliminates the expense of acquiring and maintaining separate telephone systems in remote offices

For more information on IP telephony (VoIP) visit the following links:

Review of five IP softphones (NetworkWorld Fusion)
D-Link home gateways incorporating VoIP and conventional internet appliance functions
Ericsson DRG connects phones, faxes and other devices to broadband services
ADTech (manufacturers of a smart card secure IP hardphone)
Nortel Networks VoIP product information
Nortel Succession Enterprise library 
3Com NPX Network Telephony
Siemens Enterprise Systems and Solutions
Interfusion (Dublin based IP solution provider)
Radvision   (white paper downloads on VoIP)
Cisco VG200 IP Telephony voice gateway - Other voice IP products
Alcatel Omni PCX 4400 IP Telephone system

Downloads (.pdf format)
Siemens HiPath Teleworking  VoIP
Siemens White Paper "Support of Standard IP Communications Protocols"
Siemens OptiClient 360 brochure
Siemens OptiClient 330 brochure
Nortel Networks Whitepaper "A Distributed Workforce"
VOIP over wireless (Ericsson Review)
Webswitch 100 Phone Gateway for small to medium enterprizes
Other Ericsson Webswitch systems


3. Log on to your office computer network from home using an easily setup VPN connection over your home broadband.

Exchange e-mail, presentations, faxes, spreadsheets and documents securely using VPN
128 bit encryption. 

For more information on VPN visit:

Commtech VPN appliance supplier in Ireland
i386.com - step by step instructions on VPN setup for Windows
Microsoft Windows 2000 VPN information  (Windows XP)
Microsoft Security Links
VPN / Windows 2000 (download .doc)
NortelNetworks VPN Library
Linux VPN HOWTO   (ditto alternative)
Sonic Wall (Internet security appliances)
RedHat Linux 8 VPN documentation
Interfusion (Dublin based VPN solution provider)
Cisco VPN Guide

VPN Guide (.pdf) (vpndynamics.com)
FAQs on setting up VPNs,  IPsec, etc.


In the home

What can broadband do for me in my personal life?

1. Download music, play games, watch video clips even entire movies broadband makes them all possible at speeds you may have dreamt of.  You don't pay by the minute to watch television or listen to the radio.  Why should you pay by the minute while online?   With a broadband connection, you pay a fixed monthly charge, irrespective of the time spent online*.

2. Use Telemedicine to consult with your GP and allow him to monitor your progress from the comfort of your home reducing the risk of spreading infection and get your prescription medication delivered to your door from an ePharmacy.   

3. Software and service pack downloads are getting larger and larger with file sizes in excess of 100 Mbytes not uncommon.

4.  Keep up to the minute on news, travel arrangements, e-mails, your investments, your bank account, weather, public transport and traffic alerts thanks to the fact that broadband is always on.   When somebody sends you an e-mail you will receive it almost instantly.

5. Give your family the advantage of telelearning via broadband.   Courses available online cover everything from home cooking to MBA business degrees from top universities. 


Microsoft Windows Media


Broadband Directory (Google)

NTLWorld Broadband music

Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland

European Federation of Medical Informatics

Telemedicine Directory (Google)

Telemedicine Today

Distance Learning Directory (Google)

Broadband Week

*Beware certain eircom DSL tariffs have traffic caps which limit one's data download to for example 3 Gb per month.

For small business

Many people are reluctant to use the internet as a means of communication (eg e-mail) or placing an order online if they think the recipient systems aren't "always online".     People might be equally reluctant to send urgent faxes to trading partners if they felt that the recipient only periodically checked their fax machine.  

With a DSL connection orders and e-mails are received within a second or so of being sent - even if your customer or correspondent is on the other side of the world.    Take a sandwich bar as an example.  Customers of Freshgo can use this simple order form to pre-order their lunch from their office desk.   It takes less than a minute to fill out the form.    This greatly speeds up service for the customer because the work producing the sandwiches can be done over the entire morning (rather than having to be crammed into the lunchtime period).   This leads to reduced staffing costs and faster customer service.   Customers who have pre-ordered can go to a special counter to pick up and pay for their order without having to queue with everybody else who just arrives "off the street".  

Similar principles apply to most small businesses who can use broadband internet connectivity to increase their operational efficiency and provide a better service to the customer.


Electronic Commerce and Electronic Markets

Advancing with eBusiness - case studies

How broadband buoys small business in a down economy in the USA







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2005-01-01 16:52   U770bis.12G.42