€32 million to be invested in Longford under the National Broadband Plan

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Broadband

€32 million to be invested in Longford under the National Broadband Plan

The roll out of high-speed broadband to over 8,000 premises in Longford has moved one step closer, as the Government announced that work to finalise the contract for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is well progressed.

This is welcome news for the many homes and business premises in County Longford which are adversely affected by lack of broadband.

Longford will receive an investment of €32 million to provide fibre broadband to 8,193 homes in the Intervention Area (IA).

This is a mapped area of rural Ireland where high-speed broadband is currently not commercially available and it encompasses over half a million premises, including 56,000 farms and 44,000 businesses. In Longford, this includes areas such as Moatfarrell, Killee and Cloonback.

In total, 37% of all premises in Longford will be passed and eligible for connection.

The high-speed broadband is set to revolutionise working and home life for many who have had limited or congested connectivity up until now.

Read also: Boost for Longford homes and businesses as final tender for national broadband rollout is tabled

Some of the many benefits of high-speed broadband include e-learning, remote monitoring of livestock or equipment, e-health initiatives, better energy efficiency in the home, more remote working and the availability of value bundle phone, TV and internet packages.

Commenting on the latest news, Christine Collins, Broadband Officer of Longford County Council said, “Longford County Council is delighted with the latest news regarding the investment commitment and move towards securing high-speed broadband for Longford.

“We are looking forward to working with National Broadband Ireland to facilitate the development of a digitally enabled county, which is centrally located and digitally connected.”

Local Longford business Billy Moran & Sons Ltd in Clontymullan further welcomes the news, "As a small family rural business, we Billy Moran & Sons Ltd are excited to hear of the advances with the National Broadband Plan.

“Our business nature depends heavily on reliable high-speed broadband service for our everyday needs including; everyday banking, card payment transactions and international buying from overseas.”

NBI chief executive Peter Hendrick said he welcomed Minister Bruton’s recent progress update and said his team are continuing to work hard to ensure contract close in the coming months.

“Some members of the team recently met with regional service providers – including several from Longford – for information briefings about how their businesses can integrate with the NBP,” he said.

Read also: Longford Leader Editorial: Broadband plan saga is a mess of our own making

“We have also initiated a regional communications campaign to ensure local media and public representatives are provided with up to date and important information regarding the project, to ensure they can deliver that to the public.

“We look forward to engaging with local communities in the future once the contract is signed and we start our work across Ireland.”

Donal Hanrahan, Head of Deployment, NBI added. “In addition to the €32 million we will be investing in Longford, we will also be creating 2,000 jobs across rural Ireland with the national roll-out of broadband, which will be a substantial boost to the local economies.

“Access to broadband will also create secondary employment to existing local business and enterprises which have been struggling to compete in the current digital economy.”

The news was welcomed by Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Micheál Carrigy.

“This investment covers all households in the amber area which is about 37% of the total households in the county,” said Cllr Carrigy.

“Any household outside of this area and situated in the blue and light blue area should be receiving a high speed service.”

Read also: Government is committed to rolling out highspeed broadband to rural Longford, says Minister Humphreys