16,000 Cork homes and businesses ready to connect to high-speed fibre

Broadband roll-out in Cork will allow businesses to remain in rural areas to stimulate economic activity and create new jobs.

More than 8,000 premises in the Midleton Deployment Area are now ready to connect to National Broadband Ireland’s (NBI) network, bringing the total number of Cork homes, farms and businesses which can connect to the network to almost 16,000.

Up to 81,000 premises in County Cork are included in the State’s Intervention Area, which will see NBI deliver minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second to homes, businesses, farms and schools. As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification, the County will receive €314m of Government investment under the NBP. 

“We are on a mission to enable homes and business all over Ireland to experience the life-changing benefits that true high-speed broadband provides”

Under the National Broadband Plan, 559,000 premises nationwide are included in the Intervention Area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to identify areas where commercial operators are not currently or do not intend to provide access to high-speed broadband. 

“National Broadband Ireland is delighted that over 8,000 homes, farms and business in Midleton are the latest to become ready to connect to the NBI fibre network,” said NBI CEO Peter Hendrick.

“This brings the number of premises in Cork which can now sign up with one of our retail partners to almost 16,000 and we are calling on residents to visit nbi.ie to check their Eircode to see if they can get connected and register for updates. We are on a mission to enable homes and business all over Ireland to experience the life-changing benefits that true high-speed broadband provides with families able to work, study and access entertainment at the same time on multiple devices. 

“For Cork businesses, like the Ballymaloe Cookery School, having a reliable connection for key employees unleashes the benefit of remote working to both day-to-day business and work life balance, as well as unlocking international business opportunities.”

Joining the dots on digital in rural areas

Toby Allen, Operations and IT Manager at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, and one of the first customers in the Midleton Deployment Area to be connected to the NBI network said: “I was delighted when fibre became available on my road and wasted no time signing up. The combination of the boost in speed that fibre provides and the reliability of the Airwave network has been a great benefit to me.  

“I work as the operations and IT Manager at Ballymaloe Cookery School and find the ability to work from home as though I am sitting in the office of enormous value. The boost in speed has meant that I can continue to work when my daughters are enjoying Netflix or watching YouTube videos about Macbeth!

“Internet connectivity is what allows many rural businesses to compete on an international stage. The fibre rollout has allowed us at Ballymaloe Cookery School to run a live streaming service of many of our cookery demonstrations which simply would not have been possible with a slower internet connection.”

As a wholesale network operator, NBI does not sell fibre broadband directly to end users, rather it enables services from a range of broadband providers or Retail Service Providers (RSPs). As a wholesale provider, NBI will make the new Fibre-to-the-Home network available to all RSPs operating in the Intervention Area.  

One of those RSPs is Airwave. “Having been providing broadband in rural areas since 2005 using a mix of technologies, Airwave is delighted to now partner with NBI to deliver its cutting edge broadband connectivity via NBI’s best in class full fibre network,” explained Michael Spreadborugh, sales manager with Airwave.

“The partnership combines the expertise of NBI to build out and deliver its carrier grade network into underserved rural areas, with Airwave’s customer centric approach providing an honest, value for money, no-nonsense broadband product, with a local support team.

“The ability to provide multi-gigabit connectivity, bridges the divide between urban and rural areas and is a key enabler to allow business and innovation thrive by providing the essential tools needed in this modern information age. It will facilitate increased home working, improving work-life balance whilst also allowing business remain in rural areas to stimulate the economic activity and create additional jobs in hitherto depopulated areas.”

Commenting on the highly anticipated NBI roll out, Valerie O’Sullivan, Divisional Manager Cork County Council said: “Cork County Council is pleased to observe the benefits of greater access to high-speed broadband that is already accruing to many businesses, such as that run by Toby Allen, as well as the wider public now embracing new blended working practices. The continued progression of fibre deployment across Cork County under the National Broadband Plan is central as we continue the transition to improved access to services through digital enablement.”

Main image at top: Dan O Sullivan, Cork County Council; John Barry Airwave; Toby Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School; Valerie O Sullivan Cork County Council; and Michael Spreadborough, Airwave. Photo: Cathal Noonan

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.