Bed and broadband
Fibre broadband is helping Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry, appeal to coders and tourists alike
On the banks of the River Fertha in Skellig Kerry sits the town of Cahersiveen. With a population of 1,400, it may be small – but Cahersiveen has big demands. From welcoming international visitors, to helping the younger generation learn code, the town is greatly reliant on high-speed broadband.
For more than half-a-century the San Antoine B&B has relied on the perfect combination of Irish hospitality coupled with Cahersiveen’s natural beauty to attract a constant stream of international guests. Established in 1957 by Alan Landers’ parents, it has been run by Alan for the past 23 years and in those years, visitor needs have evolved.
One key element to keeping guests happy today, says Alan, is providing them with uninterrupted internet through open eir. Last year, San Antoine became the one-millionth premises passed by open eir’s fibre network at an event attended by Alex White, T.D., Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
HIGH-SPEED AND HASSLE-FREE
“We have a lot of requests for internet access, more so in the last number of years because people are becoming more familiar with it; there is definitely a demand for it,” says Alan. “The guests want it so they can see what’s happening at home and check emails. A lot of them are using Skype to contact home or family, too.”
But it’s not just his guests who rely on constant access to the internet. Alan’s own family uses Wi-Fi for everything from contacting loved ones abroad, to doing homework assignments, to watching movies on Netflix. Importantly, both guests and family members can go online simultaneously without ever negatively affecting the bandwidth.
“High-speed broadband has made a huge difference,” says Alan. “Everyone is able to use it; both the family ourselves and guests – everyone is able to use it at the same time and no contention issues and nobody shouting for extra bandwidth either.”
Continuously fast broadband helps Alan with his other business, too. He works as a freelance photographer for local newspapers and regularly sends large picture files to news desks. “Upload speeds are very, very important to me because it means the images are going straight away,” says Alan. “The images are landing on the servers in the paper very quickly, so they can see them straight away. They’re not waiting 20 minutes or half-an-hour for the images to download.”
ENABLING LEARNING THROUGH BROADBAND
Just as fast-paced newsrooms can’t wait, neither can the young people of Cahersiveen who are learning to code through the local CoderDojo – a worldwide initiative that teaches children programming skills. Since fibre broadband came to the area, both students and mentors have benefited.
“High-speed broadband had a very big impact because prior to that we couldn’t really link to the internet,” says CoderDojo mentor Padraig McGinty. “We had to prepare everything in advance and if we had a video or anything, it was quite difficult to download.” Student Matthew O’Neill agrees. “It makes it more enjoyable because everything is there when you want it,” he says.
To Alan Landers, such a service connects Cahersiveen to the entire planet. And though it may be small, the potential that high-speed broadband brings both locals and businesses of Cahersiveen is huge. Alan says: “In any small town, it needs to be there.”