Today, 1.4 million homes and businesses across Ireland can access high speed broadband. This will extend to 1.6 million this year and to 1.9 million premises as quickly as possible thereafter. We have commenced the rollout of high speed broadband to the additional 300,000 homes and businesses in rural Ireland. We plan to complete fibre rollout to the first 100,000 homes and businesses by the end of this year.
For homes and businesses not included in our commercial plans, will be covered by the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP). open eir is committed to tendering for the NBP and we are currently working with the Department on the comprehensive procurement process.
We know that our investment in a brand new super fast fibre network is just the beginning.
Ultimately it is down to how you use that connection. To ensure that you make the most of the exciting opportunities opened up by a fibre broadband connection we plan to run a number of educational sessions that should help. However before we do that we need you to help us identify what skills sets are needed. So over the next few months we plan to meet with your community representatives to develop some suitable courses and fact sheets.
So keep checking back with us for course content and timelines.
Over the course of the trial period, we would like to keep this section of our site updated with stories on how Broadband has improved your lifestyle or business. Whether it has made working from home that little bit easier improving your work/life balance. Or as a student it has enabled you to study, wind down and keep in contact. Or it simply allowed all of your family get online at the same time. We want to know, so keep us in the loop and email your stories to email@example.com.
Once we receive your details we will get in touch, and with your permission organise to have your story listed here. By sharing your information it will help others within the community get online and reap the benefits.
So how are your neighbours benefiting from the trial
Conor Heaney – Cattle Farmer, Belcarra, Co. Mayo
Conor Heaney was born and grew up in the townland of Belcarra in rural County Mayo. A father of three, life is busy as he runs a farm part-time as well as working. He finds the most exciting time of the year is calving season, “When you have cows giving birth on the farm seeing new life come into the world is an amazing experience”.
As part of eircom’s Fibre to the Home trial in Belcarra, Conor is now experiencing the benefits of super fast 1GB broadband. As a part-time farmer, Conor used to worry about his cows, particularly during calving time while he was out at work during the day. Now he can now use a livestock monitoring system that uses WiFi cameras to monitor his cattle remotely, “I can check on the cows at any time of day or night quickly and simply from my smart phone or TV. The quality of the picture is really incredible, it’s almost as good as going down to the yard and doing a physical check.”
A positive change of lifestyle
Being able to check in on the cows remotely means that Conor’s lifestyle has now changed too. “My old routine would be to check the calving cows every hour during the night depending on the cow. Since I got the WiFi cameras installed all I need is to pick up the phone, and open my app. In a matter minutes I’d have the cows properly checked and be back to sleep. Because the quality of the picture is so good over the fibre, I can zoom in and really properly see what is going on and then intervene if needs be.”
A transformative effect on the farm
Conor recently signed up to the Department of Agricultures Agfood.ie site, which enables him to manage his farm administration online. Teagasc Business and Technology advisor Alan Nolan says that fibre on farms will have a transformative effect on the sector, “There are a host of new technologies now that farmers can access to save time and improve the productivity of their business. To really take advantage of these, quality broadband is a very important factor. Farmers get very frustrated with poor broadband and it’s a big barrier to moving online. It’s fantastic to see a farmer like Conor experiencing real improvements in his time management and having the opportunity to access all that technology can offer to him.”
More time for the Family
As a father of three, Conor is also excited to see the benefits fibre to the home is bringing to his family, “The kids are very excited about being able to stream movies and kids stuff using Netflix. I think there will also be a future benefit to them as they begin to use the internet a lot more for school work. Everything is instant now, it makes doing things online very easy. Belcarra is a small place, so it’s hard to believe we now have some of the fastest broadband in Ireland. It’s definitely made a huge different to us.”
LPB Construction Services, Manulla
LPB Construction Services is truly a family business. It was started more than 20 years ago by father Bernard. Today, all three sons in the family, a daughter and a daughter-in-law contribute to the longevity of the business. LPB work up and down the west coast, and also have a base in the UK, so the internet is essential for the business.
Relying on family
“If this wasn’t all family we wouldn’t be here today” says daughter Berniece, who is in charge in the office in Manulla. “We all worked together through the hard times” and signs on they’re busier than ever now.
They moved into a new premises about 18 months ago, and were connected to the new broadband service about 6 months ago. High speed broadband has relieved Berniece of one major headache:- online banking. “Beforehand you could be an hour trying to pay wages now it’s ‘click’ and away. The only problem I have now,” Berniece says “is if the bank themselves have a problem!”
Berniece is honest is saying she has no idea how fast it is but it’s fast enough now for them to do all the business the need to online – and they need to do a lot.
With the UK office there is a lot of email communications, and online banking. The industry has also moved to eTenders so they have to upload quotes and applications. And with everyone on-site most of the time, one of the best ways of keeping in the loop is with mobile email.
High Speed WiFi at home
Each of the siblings has their own domain in the business and “knowing when to stay quiet” has been key to making sure they all get along so successfully. Brian is the project manager, Paul a carpenter, Liam is a foreman on-site and sister-in-law Fiona works in the office, while Bernard keeps a steady hand on the tiller.
With a number of projects in the air at the same time, Bernard makes use of the high speed wifi at home to keep in the loop. The brothers also have fibre broadband, and find the multiple laptops going with the kids is the most use out of it.
Brian Smith and his wife Juliet are residents of Belcarra, Co Mayo
They operate, run, manage and own 6 x eCommerce sites from their picture postcard location.
Before the Belcarra FTTH trial, Brian and Juliet were running their business over a 2 Mb/s connection.
So what’s the difference now they have a fibre to the home connection with speeds up to 1G. Well to quote Brian ‘the possibilities are now limitless’.
Brian and Juliet’s company is called Mabtech they supply medical equipment to nursing homes and directly to the consumer market. Key to competing in this market is ensuring all of their websites are constantly updated with information, images and new products. Brians’ ability now to multi task whether that is uploading large files, downloading a video, accessing the Adobe creative cloud, enables him to keep his business competitive and means he can do so much more with his day.
Over the last number of years the economic downturn meant that companies needed to diversify, and new skills needed to be learnt. Brian focused on web development and with the support of www.lynda.com web development now represents a significant percentage of his revenue earnings. Work of this kind was not viable with his previous slow internet connections.
Brian now makes full use of cloud technology for his development and for his regular business operations. He uses the cloud for document storage, business application access such as accountancy software. In addition his ability to learn new skills, improve his existing skills is now even more attainable as he can use features such as video animation and tutorials from learning portals like Lynda.com
Fibre broadband has been a game changer for Brian and Juliet’s businesses, it has increased their productivity, allowing them to provide a better and faster service to their clients plus extending their reach into international markets…the future looks bright….