‘Key’ broadband connections for five locations in rural Cork

THE five new broadband connection points in Cork are a key element of the overall National Broadband Plan, according to a Cork TD.

The first group of broadband connection points (BCPs) were announced on Thursday by the government.

The BCPs are among the first premises to be connected under the National Broadband Plan and are located in some of the most isolated and rural communities in the country, including islands off the coast of Cork, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, and Galway.

In Cork, five BCPs have been connected in Clonakilty, Enniskeane, Aghabullogue, Whitechurch and Mitchelstown.

Cork TD Colm Burke said the BCPs will provide communities in Cork with free high-speed internet access at publicly-accessible sites under the Government’s new Connected Communities initiative.

“The Covid-19 crisis has shown the value of digital technology in enabling workers, businesses and families in Cork to stay connected and in touch with each other. The BCPs are intended to bring people together through digital connectivity, and it’s that togetherness that I want to emphasise.

“When people can work from their own communities here in Cork, they can maintain the close connections that matter most: family, friends, community, and their homes.

“More than that, they can support local businesses, sports and community groups, all of which contributes to sustainable communities.” Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys said:

“The launch of the first of the Broadband Connection Points under the Connected Communities initiative represents an investment in rural futures and recognises the contribution that rural Ireland makes to the culture, innovation and economy of our country.

“More than 50 locations have already been connected by Vodafone Ireland and NBI, with more sites to be installed each week from now until the end of the year and beyond,” she added.

Some 275 sites are expected to be connected by the end of the year with more expected in 2021.

BCPs will each have their own character and focus. Some will support remote working, others will facilitate study and digital skills training, and many will act as community access hubs with indoors and outdoors WiFi.