Connected Communities is an initiative of the Government of Ireland, in partnership with Vodafone and NBI. It is an initiative that will unlock the potential of communities across the country through ‘best in class’ WiFi connectivity, transforming how people all over Ireland live, work, learn and play.
Connected Communities will be in the vanguard of the rural digital revolution, showcasing rural communities as centres of creativity and innovation. As part of the National Broadband Plan, Connected Communities are being set up in approximately 300 predominantly rural areas around the country. Here in Tipperary there are 7 broadband connection points across the County up and running – these are:.
Also to be connected over the coming weeks is –
Further to this ten new locations are planned to be delivered and connected to BCP FREE WIFI NETWORK services over the coming months – these locations are;
Cllr Micheal Smith, Cathaoirleach Tipperary County Council noted the importance of the 6 Connected Communities which are in place and now providing a high speed internet service. He also felt that with a further 12 more planned, rural communities would be strengthened by this vital connectivity.
“As they evolve and grow, Connected Communities will provide an opportunity to transform the economic and social fabric of rural towns and communities by addressing the digital divide, improving lives, creating jobs and stimulating rural economic growth”.
Cllr Smith commented that access to the internet has never been more important and the COVID-19 crisis has shown the value of digital technology in enabling workers, businesses and families to stay in touch.
As an Elected Representative, Cllr Smith stated that much of his constituency work has been carried out over the past number of months through the facility of online meetings and internet activity and this is the same for many people across the county. “These BCPs are intended to bring people together through the provision of free public access to high speed WiFi, enabling rural communities to get connected. Whilst we live under Level 5 restrictions they are providing essential access and connectivity to a range of people that is enabling them to continue to work remotely and stay safe at home”.
Tipperary County Council and the Government of Ireland have delivered this valuable infrastructure as a key part of the National Broadband Plan. The initiative provides communities with connectivity in advance of homes and businesses receiving future-proofed fibre broadband directly to their door.
Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development said “I want to congratulate Tipperary on their BCP network as part of the Connected Communities Initiative. Connected Communities will unlock the potential in rural communities, transforming the lives of its residents. Whether that is connected working, the creative arts, eHealth or educational supports, the BCPs will be supported to provide the services that their communities need. These premises are not merely a stop-gap measure ahead of the arrival of the National Broadband Plan, it is our hope that they will instead become long-term community assets, fixtures of their communities, providing next generation services to Ireland’s rural heartlands.”
Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland said: “Vodafone is proud to partner with Government on Connected Communities, providing best in class WiFi to rural communities across Ireland. We are delighted to see Tipperary Connected Communities bringing high-speed connectivity across the county. Technology and connectivity has afforded us a sense of normality in truly abnormal times and has supported the dramatic and necessary shift to online in terms of how we live, work and interact. These Connected Communities will help Tipperary embrace this digital society by giving opportunities for remote work, study, community and digital skills training and a host of other digitally enabled services.
Welcoming the launch of the initiative, Peter Hendrick, Chief Executive Officer at National Broadband Ireland, said:
“Broadband Connection Points offer rural communities essential access to free high-speed internet access and they pave the way for the wider rollout of the National Broadband Plan, which as a project of tremendous size and scale will deliver world-leading Fibre-to-the-Home broadband directly to 544,000 homes, farms and businesses. We are excited for communities to start realising the transformational benefits that high-speed connectivity can bring to so many aspects of people’s lives.”
It is an exciting time for these rural areas that are now going to be at the forefront in regard to connectivity in their communities. If you want to check out your own locality and find out more information on the BCP near you check out www.nbi.ie for all the latest information and by entering your eircode you will find the nearest location to you.