A huge turnout to open eir’s briefing session on the fibre rollout plan for County Cork

A huge turnout to open eir’s briefing session on the fibre rollout plan for County Cork

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Castletownbere – Monday, 21st November 2016, open eir, the wholesale division of eir, visited Castletownbere to update local stakeholders on the availability of high speed broadband in the county. The event was held in a Bord Iascaigh Mhara and included a adress from eir CEO Richard Moat followed by a presentation by MD of open eir Carolan Lennon who then held a panel discussion with Isabel O’Donovan, Owner Issie’s Handmade Chocolcates, Tara McCarthy, CEO, BIM National Fisheries College of Ireland and Pat Murphy, Cork County Council.

Currently, 178,500 homes and businesses across 101 communities in the county, can avail of high speed broadband with speeds of up to 100Mb/s as a direct result of open eir’s investment to upgrade its ‘open access’ network. When open eir’s fibre rollout programmes completes in 2018 over 208,000 homes and businesses across 143 communities will have access to high speed broadband.

open eir has also committed to rolling out fibre to the home (FTTH) technology offering speeds of up to 1,000Mb/s to 95 communities covering over 27,000 homes and businesses across Cork including the West Cork communities of Castletownbere, Glengarriff, Schull, Skibbereen, Clonakilty and Kinsale.

Speaking at the briefing event Carolan Lennon, Managing Director, open eir said “No other operator in the market is investing more or rolling out fibre to the scale that we are. We have made commitments to bring high speed broadband to as many communities as possible across Ireland – and this includes communities in rural Ireland. Today 70% of the country has access to high speed broadband and that will continue to rise.  This includes 101 communities in Cork. But we are not stopping there! We will provide best in class solutions with unparalleled speeds to a number of additional communities in the county by the end of 2018.

I’m delighted that our investment programme is benefitting communities across Cork. We have seen first-hand how fibre broadband can enhance people’s business and personal lives. It’s helping businesses move online and capture new markets, it enriches the learning experience for students both in the classroom and at home, it facilitates greater teleworking and brings a much broader range of entertainment options into the home with increased music, gaming, film and television services.

Welcoming open eir’s €55m investment in the county, Isabel O’Donovan, Owner of local business “Issie’s Handmade Chocolates said: “High speed broadband is a hugely important resource for businesses and the broader community so it is a very positive development for the county that currently over 178,000 premises can avail of fibre broadband. Rural Ireland has long been forgotten when it comes to broadband rollout and this has had a significant impact on businesses across the country. Castletownbere is a remote but thriving community – we attract a lot of tourists to the area each year and there is also a vibrant business community – for us high speed broadband is not a luxury it’s an absolute necessity. Access to reliable broadband helps to put communities like ours on the world map and for business owners like me it really helps us to compete outside our local environment. It’s encouraging to see that at least one provider in the market is addressing this serious issue”.

Tara McCarthy, BIM’s CEO also welcomed the introduction of high speed broadband to the area; ‘As the Seafood Development Agency, one of our core priorities is Skills. Our National Fisheries College in Castletownbere delivers a range of courses to fishermen and seafood industry personnel from Skippers tickets to marine engineering to aquaculture training. High speed broadband will improve our capability in the college to deliver the highest standards of training and it will allow us to communicate more effectively with our students. It will also help the wider seafood sector in the area to deliver a more efficient service to their customers and as Castletownbere is one of our key fishing ports landing over €113 million worth of fish last year; it is a valuable business that should be supported with the best broadband services available.

Nationally open eir continues to make significant progress on the roll-out of Ireland’s largest open access high-speed fibre broadband network. open eir has so far enabled 1.6 million homes and businesses nationwide to access its high-speed fibre broadband network. When complete, a national network of 1.9 million premises will have access to high-speed broadband.