11 locations in Laois will be the first to receive high-speed broadband after the Government signed the deal for the €3 billion project yesterday.
Fine Gael Councillor for Portlaoise Thomasina Connell revealed that as an initial start to this project, broadband will be installed in various locations accessible to the Community throughout Laois in 2020.
These are as follows: Bilboa Post Office, Ballyadams National School, Emo National School, Gaelscoil An Tslí Dála (Borris-In-Ossory), Heywood Community School, Killadooley National School, Knock National School (Spink), Rossmore Killeshin Development Association, Knockbeg College, Shanganamore National School (Barrowhouse) and Vicarstown Community Hall.
According to Cllr Connell, the total investment in this project in Laois will be €49 Million over the term of the project, being 25 years and will bring high speed internet to over 12,000 premises.
She said: “This plan guarantees high speed broadband for every home, business and farm in Laois and so ensures that no one person is left behind.
“The opportunities that will arise as a result of the installation of this essential infrastructure will be far reaching and in Co. Laois will impact positively on the areas of Smart Farming, the SME sector and the way we all work within our villages and towns.
“Our Government has initiated this plan in light of decisions made by commercial operators not to deliver this essential service.
“Flexible and remote working is not a new phenomenon in Laois and we have already had the introduction of hubs throughout the County with high speed broadband and hot desk facilities at Bloom HQ in Mountrath, The Hub in Portarlington, Portlaoise & Portarlington Enterprise Centre, Vision 85 in Portlaoise and The Web Mill in Mountmellick.
“The roll out of this plan bolsters the facilities already provided at these locations and gives greater flexibility to our Community.
“Over 11,000 people in Laois commute outside of the County for work each day and this project will provide options to those who face that daily commute and will of course reduce those numbers.
“Over 90% of Ireland will have access to Broadband as a result of this Plan within the next four years.
“This plan aims to ensure that people who wish to live and work in Laois are supported in doing so.
“It is so crucial for balanced regional development that everyone in the country does not have to leave their home county to work, study or start an enterprise.”