• There was a packed meeting in Bangor last night to discuss the roll out of broadband in the region.

    Details of the long awaited National Broadband Plan were to be published last week, but it now looks like next week before they are available.

    Stephen Carrolan, the Broadband Manager with Mayo county Council, addressed last night’s gathering.

    Local Sinn Fein councillor Teresa Whelan says there is an urgency in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, in places like Erris.

  • Funding has been approved for 9 Broadband Connection Points in Mayo, to ensure the locations are ready to receive high-speed broadband, as part of the rollout of the National Broadband Plan.

    Minister Michael Ring has allocated €600 each for 319 locations nationally - including 9 in Mayo.

    The Broadband Connection Point locations include community centres, schools, public buildings and sports facilities.

    Minister Ring says the rollout of the long-awaited rural broadband is dependent on these connection points.

  • The general licence has been granted for Eir to install 300k fibre broadband into the Swinford and Foxford areas.

    The development is very welcome, according to local Fine Gael Councillor Neil Cruise.

    The Councillor says it’s vital infrastructure for rural areas, and he said it’s real progress ahead of the National Broadband Plan being rolled out by government.

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    Fianna Fáil is calling for an independent review of the Government’s broadband procurement process  in the Dail today following Eir’s surprise decision to quit the process last week.

    However, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, insists he will face down the request from the opposition party, adding that such a process would in any case only delay the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

    According to today’s Irish Independent , Fianna Fail believes the departure of the State’s largest telecoms firm, which leaves just one bidder in the race, had compromised the tendering process and has raised serious doubts over whether the plan, as currently designed, could be delivered.

    It has tabled a Dáil Private Members’ motion calling for a review of the process, to be concluded within two months, which would examine several aspects of the tender, including the degree to which it is “inhibiting the participation of suitable bidders”.

    Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, however, said he would face down the request.

  • Minister Seán Kyne has this afternoon launched a new SIRO rollout to provide Galway city with access to the most powerful broadband service in Ireland.

    The first homes in the county were connected to the network in Oranmore last week.

    The Galway rollout will see services powered by SIRO made available to approximately 30,000 premises across Galway city and the surrounding area.  SIRO will invest €20 million in the construction of its Gigabit broadband network. That is the largest single investment that the wholesale broadband operator will make in 2019.

    Using the existing ESB network, SIRO builds dedicated fibre-optic cables all the way to home or business premises, delivering speeds of 1 Gigabit per second or 15 times faster than the average broadband speeds in Ireland.

    For example, downloading a high definition (HD) film of 4 GB (Gigabytes) with a 10 Mbps connection takes an hour - with SIRO it takes 30 seconds.

    The network build will commence from SIRO points of Interconnect in Galway, Oranmore and Moneenageisha to cover 30 clusters in the Galway area bringing access to SIRO’s Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) technology, which is recognised as the gold standard for broadband connectivity internationally and is 100% fibre-optic, with no copper cable at any point to slow it down.

  • While the Government has further delayed a decision on the National Broadband Plan until after Easter, commercial companies are continuing to rollout highspeed broadband in towns across Co Mayo.

    The proposed National Broadband Plan aims to provide broadband to the most remote houses and premises in the country, but in the meantime, companies like Eir are providing highspeed broadband to more customers in the less remote areas.

    That's according to Mayo FG Councillor Jarlath Munnelly.

    Speaking to Midwest News after the monthly meeting of the Ballina Municipal District, Councillor Munnelly cited the example of broadband being rolled out to areas on the outskirts of Killala town. 

    However, the difficulties faced by rural areas that don't have broadband have been highlighted by Ballina Independent Councillor Seamus Weir.

    While commercial companies are continuing to rollout high-speed broadband in many towns and cities across the country, he says some rural areas are being left behind and it's causing severe difficulties - particularly for those running a business or hoping to work from home.

  • Councillor Teresa Whelan, who is a representative on Mayo Enterprise and Development SPC, along with Mayo Broadband Officer Stephen Carolan have identified Ballycroy Community Centre, Keel Community Centre in Achill and Belderrig Community Centre as the 3 centres that will avail of the new broadband connection point ahead of the National Broadband Plan.

    These 3 centres will give access to all people living in the community the opportunity to avail of this essential service.

    Cllr Whelan has welcomed the news but says she is committed to lobbying the government so that this service can be rolled out in many more community centres in rural communities.