Work is underway on the upgrade of four of the county’s eight Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) and co:worx in Edgeworthstown.
Funding for the work (€234,677.84) was announced by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD under the Connected Hubs Call in July.
BCPs provide free hot-desks, co-working and training facilities for residents, visitors and entrepreneurs. The facilities also offer start-ups office space for hire at a minimal rate.
The broadband connection points that already exist at Abbeyshrule Airfield; Moydow Community Centre, Mullinalaghta Community Centre, and the Latin School Community Centre, Moyne are being upgraded to provide additional functionality, privacy and an improved equipment offering.
This round of funding will also enhance the offering to be provided at the co:worx digital and e-working hub which is currently in development in Edgeworthstown.
The primary objective of the Connected Hubs Call is to support and complement the development of a National Hub Network, which is a key action of the Rural Development Policy – Our Rural Future and the National Remote Working Strategy – Making Remote Work.
The aim of the call was to add additional capacity to the existing remote working infrastructure in Ireland by upgrading existing hubs and Broadband Connection Points (BCPs), while continuing to support Covid-19 measures.
The upgrade funding is being administered by Longford County Council.
The project involves the local authority working in collaboration with local broadband connection point committees to include upgrades like privacy booths, screens, and additional desks, chairs and equipment. It will mean that the locations will be able to facilitate things like podcasting and web/teleconferencing for example.
Procurement for the upgrade of all five eligible sites is at an advanced stage and construction work at the Latin School Community Centre in Moyne is also well underway.
Welcoming the progress, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan said, “I want to congratulate the award-winning IT Department and the Regeneration Section of Longford County Council because a lot of time and effort has been put into the development of this hub network and I’m delighted to see it both coming to fruition and going a step further with the upgrade.”
Chief Executive of Longford County Council Paddy Mahon said, “We can see the statistics coming through, that the broadband connection points are already proving to be very popular for use by students, remote workers and people in need of a separate working space since the official launch in June. Longford will continue to be forward-looking when it comes to developing these facilities and helping people to experience a better work-life balance.”
A number of BCP sites around county Longford have started hosting additional free activities including for example, a series of online workshops on art in Moyne, online painting classes in Mullinalaghta as well the recently announced Skillshare courses – all of which is part of the Connected Communities initiative.
The Skillshare courses are available at four digital hubs including Abbeyshrule Airport, Latin School Community Centre Moyne, Moydow Community Centre and Mullinalaghta Community Centre.
The courses facilitate access through the digital hubs to six-month-long inspiring classes, details of which are available on www.longfordcoco.ie.
Access to digital hubs and the securing of course places can be arranged by emailing Christine Collins, Broadband Officer for County Longford at: broadbandofficer @longfordcoco.ie
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