Waterford’s Steineberg Fireplaces is 30,000th connection to National Broadband Plan

118,000 homes, farms and businesses are ready to connect to National Broadband Plan network across all 26 counties.

Waterford business Steineberg Fireplaces has become the 30,000th connection to the National Broadband Plan after signing up to a high-speed gigabit fibre service from Vodafone.

The National Broadband Plan is the Irish Government’s investment in ensuring broadband reaches homes and businesses in areas where it had been deemed not commercially viable for operators to provide services. National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is designing, building and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government. 

“Having a good broadband connection has become extremely important for our family business, particularly since the pandemic”

“We are delighted to now be connected to the National Broadband Ireland network through our local Vodafone provider,” said Mary Power, owner of Steineberg Fireplaces and a recently connected Vodafone customer in the Waterford deployment area.

“As a consumer-facing business, we understand the importance of being able to connect with our customers both in-store and online, be it through online payment facilities or through social media platforms.

“Having a good broadband connection has become extremely important for our family business, particularly since the pandemic. We now have an online shop on our website where customers can select their chosen fireplace from the comfort of their own home. We have a range of styles available and it’s great to have a place to showcase the designs through an online digital platform as some customers now prefer to shop online. We look forward to utilising the new high speed fibre broadband from NBI to introduce further advancements to our website.”

Making connections

The 30,000th milestone was welcomed by Minister for Communications Ossian Smyth, TD. “National Broadband Ireland has now passed more than 118,000 premises across every county and has connected more than 30,000 premises to their full fibre network.

“I am happy to report that, through a combination of significant private and public investment, full fibre broadband subscriptions have increased to over 463,000, representing nearly 19.5% coverage of all homes and businesses in the State. This is increasing at a rapid rate as networks continue to be rolled out and upgraded. The Government’s objective is that by 2028, through a combination of investment by commercial operators and the National Broadband Plan, every premises in Ireland will have access to Gigabit broadband,” said Smyth.

The number of connections to the National Broadband Ireland network has doubled in the last six months, including farms, homes and businesses, said National Broadband Ireland CEO Peter Hendrick.

“We now have connections in each of the 26 counties and 118,000 premises are ready to connect by signing up with one of our 60 retail partners. We’re hearing back from connected customers that minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second are transformational, for businesses looking to expand and diversify, and for families accessing multiple devices online at the same time.

“In County Waterford, one third of the rollout is now complete with over 5,200 premises ready to connect. I encourage Waterford residents to visit nbi.ie and check their Eircode to find out if they are one and sign up for updates.”

Access to this kind of infrastructure could be a game-changer for SMEs like Steineberg Fireplaces, said Vodafone Business managing director Sinéad Bryan.

“As the largest fibre broadband provider in Ireland we understand how important access to high-speed, reliable broadband is to homes and businesses. We are proud of our partnership with NBI in delivering this high-speed fibre broadband to our customers across rural Ireland. At Vodafone, we play a part in helping SMEs innovate and transform through our connectivity and suite of curated digital tools.

“It is fantastic to see how fibre broadband is helping our business customers, such as Steineberg Fireplaces in Co Waterford, to transform their operation and unlock new opportunities through digital solutions and enhanced connectivity,” Bryan said.

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