eir, Ireland’s largest telecommunications provider, has named Munterconnaught (Co Cavan) as the community set to receive “Fibre to the Home” connectivity. Commenting on winning the competition, local resident Peadar Gill said: “It’s the communications equivalent of the M3 motorway – a technological advance that will improve the lives of everyone in the parish.” Brendan O’ Brien also from Munterconnaught said: “I work from home – having high-speed broadband will expand my scope enormously and allow me to take on new clients. It’s fantastic – I’m really looking forward to it”.
The competition, which was launched in June by open eir, the wholesale division of eir, invited communities across Ireland to outline how being ‘FibrePowered’ would positively impact their lives, their businesses and their homes. The competition was open to communities with no access to high speed broadband, awaiting the deployment of the National Broadband Plan.
In total 36 communities from across Ireland entered the competition, submitting creative and compelling entries that clearly demonstrated the benefits of “Fibre to the Home” technology. This ‘end to end’ technology will reach directly into homes and businesses and offer speeds of up to 1,000Mbps (1 Gigabit).
The competition follows eir’s successful Fibre to the Home (FTTH) trial site in Belcarra, County Mayo, which has seen businesses and residents of this rural community enjoy the enormous economic, educational and social benefits of having access to broadband speeds of up to 1Gb/s. eir was the first company to introduce speeds of 1,000Mbps (1 Gigabit) and seven months on Belcarra continues to thrive as a result of the ultra-fast broadband.
Commenting on the competition announcement at Knocktemple National School in County Cavan, today, Richard Moat, CEO, eir, said: “I would like to begin by congratulating Munterconnaught for winning the eir FibrePower competition. They had stiff competition but are worthy winners.
“We were overwhelmed with the quality of all the entries, and the creativity shown, and choosing just one winner was extremely difficult but Munterconnaught, Co. Cavan clearly communicated that high speed broadband is the key to a successful future. Their detailed entry included a residential survey highlighting how 91% of the community is open to using high speed broadband, giving 63% the option to work from home. Twenty case studies outlined the social; educational; medical and business challenges faced without high speed broadband.
“It was great to see the scale of engagement across the community with the local GAA club; Heritage Society; Foróige; Knocktemple National School; Parents’ Association all contributing to the successful entry. We are confident that Munterconnaught will enjoy the same benefits that Belcarra does and we are looking forward to joining them on their high speed broadband journey.”
Supporting the competition and acting as judges were the Small Firms Association (SFA), online digital publication Silicon Republic, the Irish Farming Association (IFA) and the Farmers Journal all of whom welcome the initiative and see how the benefits can transform a community.
Four other communities that submitted exceptional entries: Allihies Parish; Portmagee; Ogonelloe and Mountshannon – all of whom will now be included in the open eir phase one development plan of the 300,000 extension. This begins in 2017, completing in 2020, the communities will benefit from high speed broadband sooner than expected.
Open eir is currently rolling out a high-speed fibre broadband network to 1.9 million premises across the country. However, there are some areas where it’s not possible for eir to provide high speed fibre broadband on a commercial basis. The Government has committed to ensuring all homes and businesses have access to high speed broadband services under the National Broadband Plan. In preparation for that initiative open eir has identified and is now trialling a new technology called Fibre To The Home (FTTH) as an optimum solution for rural areas not currently serviced, to once and for all resolve the digital divide.