Gerry Whyte has been in business in Legan for many years now.
As times changed, so did technology and with a busy store to run, many of Gerry’s customers pay with debit cards these days.
Much of his ordering is done on the computer too and with poor broadband facilities in Legan, he very often finds that card machines won’t work or he is waiting hours for orders to send or items to download on the computer.
His service provider is Ripple Com which is sourced at Ardagh mountain.
“The service is steady but very slow,” he added.
“The slowness is a problem because of suppliers first of all; if I have a brochure from a supplier I have to get it in hard copy first because if it is sent via email the internet cuts out before it is sent.
“Most times I can get an order sent, however if it is a big order, it may not send.”
Gerry went on to say that initially, the debit card machine was attached to the landline but that simply did not work at all.
Since he got Ripple Com, the service has improved, but he says it still lets him down and that very often customers have to come back to the store at another time to give him cash for the goods purchased.
“You are not going to see people stuck,” he added.
“So, at times like that, you just have to trust people.”
The local business man said that there is another much more serious problem with the lack of broadband in the area and that is in attracting other businesses and families to the locality.
“So we have good sports facilities, a great school, we have a beautiful village and so on - we are ticking all the boxes, yet we are not ticking one of the most important boxes of all theses days - broadband, and that is a problem,” he said.
“These days - and this is the reality of it - broadband could be number one on a lot of people’s lists.
“Even people who sometimes work from home - they just can’t do it because of the poor broadband here.”
Over the road at Shawbrook, where Anika Louw and her husband run Shawbrook Dance and the Eir B&B, while their son manages Shawbrook Wood Forestry, the internet situation is even worse.
“For all the things that we use, imagery and video is the most important of all that,” Anika told the Leader.
“If somebody wants to audition, get onto a course or participate in a residency or come for a retreat, they must apply because all of that would be Arts Council funded.
“I need to see their work - what is that, that’s a video.”
But for Anika, this is where the nightmare begins, because she simply cannot download video or images at her location outside Legan.
“From April, right through to August, September we did not have any coverage; it was down to nothing,” she continued.
“I have gotten up at 2am, 4am attempting anything to try and get the internet to work, but nothing.”
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