Telecommunications company Eircom has confirmed five additional locations in Co Longford are set to receive high-speed fibre broadband as part of its current expansion plan for the network.
Ardagh, Colehill, Clondra, Kenagh, and Newtowncashel have been added to a list of villages to benefit, which already includes Aughnacliffe, Ballinalee, Drumlish, Edgeworthstown, Granard, Killashee, and Lanesboro. Fibre broadband has already been rolled out in Ballymahon, Longford town, and Newtownforbes.
“At present, I can’t provide provisional completion dates for each community, all I can say is that the project will definitely be completed by 2020,” said Eircom’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Paul Bradley. However, he added that broadband users in Granard can expect to avail of the upgrade “by the end of July”.
The announcement came as Eircom unveiled plans to significantly expand access to high speed broadband in rural areas so that it reaches an additional 300,000 homes and businesses to the 1.6 million already connected.
Local TDs representing the Government parties were quick to welcome the Eircom plan.
“Today’s investment is a clear indication that Eircom recognises the opportunities in this market,” said Fine Gael’s Gabrielle McFadden, while her party colleague James Bannon added: “Making the economic recovery a reality for people in all parts of the country, including here in Longford, is a key objective for Government. Lack of broadband has been a long standing issue in rural Ireland and one that had not been addressed by previous Governments... Eircom’s announcement means the element of the National Broadband Plan that requires State intervention is likely to reduce significantly.”
In a statement, Labour TD Willie Penrose said, “It will mean over 300 communities across the country who are not currently served with broadband will benefit.”