Some quick broadband notes
My first modem
Here's a nice tool for checking your DSL's up/down speed. For those of you still on dial-up, I feel your pain. 56k? Ouch.
Sadly, there are still plenty of BB black spots in the country thanks to various private and public shenanigans (chronicled by Mulley). A few years ago, I held out some hope for the BPL system, or broadband over power lines, but that looks to be going nowhere now. We'll just have to wait for Google's wireless Ireland program.
On my own modem, I'm getting close to 4Mb/s down and 250kb/s up. Should I pay another €5 a month for 6Mb? Or another for 8Mb? Decisions. To use the international currency standard conversion rate: it's really only a 'couple of pints'.
For the curious pirate, test if your ISP is throttling your BitTorrent traffic. I'm happy to say that my provider, Smart, isn't interfering with my file sharing signals (as yet).