A Georgian knot: Dublin’s fine old architecture can affect internet quality

20 Jul 2017

Image: David Soanes/Shutterstock

Connectivity is a big issue for many Dublin offices, according to WiredScore.

Dublin’s digital boom, mixing snazzy new building developments with a penchant for refurbishing old Georgian buildings and warehouses into trendy workspaces, is revealing unexpected internet performance issues for office workers.

A study by WiredScore, an international platform that rates buildings on their infrastructure and technology capacity, found that one in 10 employees in Dublin experience connectivity issues every day.

Future Human

WiredScore has begun serving the Irish market to help landlords rate the connectivity quality of their buildings.

The study by the company found that 85pc of Irish offices experience connectivity problems, while 40pc of office employees say internet outages cause tension in the workplace.

While a clear majority of those surveyed (77.5pc) say their connectivity issues tend to last less than 30 minutes, the findings show that interruptions to internet services have an impact on productivity far greater than is indicated by the duration of the outage.

Dublin: The digital boom town

A Georgian knot: Dublin’s fine old architecture can affect internet quality

WiredScore has 11 Irish clients that have already signed up for a digital connectivity certification rating: Blackstone, Castlepark, Clancourt, Green REIT, Hibernia REIT, Hines, IPUT, Irish Life, McGarrell Reilly Group, Ronan Group and U+I. Image: WiredScore

EMEA director of WiredScore, William Newton, told Siliconrepublic.com that internet connectivity and technology performance are being taken seriously by landlords in Dublin.

He said that Dublin has a vast array of impressive buildings, from beautiful old Georgian offices to the cutting-edge office architecture around Grand Canal Docks, which hosts internet players such as Google and Facebook.

“There has been a discrepancy in understanding the value of the internet to businesses,” said Newton.

“Most landlords don’t or didn’t know the quality of the connectivity inside the buildings and were unable to articulate this to tenants, many of whom could be digital start-ups or global players.”

Newton said that WiredScore has now certified more than 350m sq ft of office space in 50 cities – with more than 950 buildings in the US and UK – and it works with at least 90 landlords in the UK.

The company was founded in New York in 2013 with an endorsement from former mayor of the city, Michael Bloomberg. In 2015, it won the Greater London Authority’s tender for the official Mayor of London Digital Connectivity Rating Scheme.

“Connectivity is a very big issue for companies’ location in new buildings and they are seeking ratings to indicate the cost of setting up and the quality of their fibre connections.

“Landlords are seeking this too, and many are working with telcos to ensure that their landmark properties have the connectivity that digital companies and financial services companies need.

“Big tenants of these buildings also want to be able to say they are in a WiredScore-certified building.”

The process of certifying buildings involves surveys, inspections, studying CAD files and more.

Newton said that WiredScore also carries out radio frequency (RF) surveys to see how well served buildings are in terms of cellular services.

“Future buildings are already planning small-cell solutions to ensure they are 5G-ready, for example.”

He said that connectivity is as fundamentally important to the effectiveness of buildings as electricity, light and heat.

“At the moment, we are focused only on the office market but there are exciting opportunities ahead in residential, too.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years