Every home and business in Portarlington will be able to tap into fast fibre optic broadband over the coming year, according to Virgin Media Ireland.
Councillors from the Portarlington Graiguecullen municipal district welcomed the plan, outlined to them at their December meeting.
The company plan to start installing their network in February, using overhead cables in the town centre, elsewhere digging narrow channels 4 inch wide, 6 inch deep, along paths, roads and green areas, placing connection boxes at the entrance of every premises.
“The first tranche will go live in March or April,” the rep Don Davern told councillors, agreeing after a request by Cllr Paschal McEvoy to use local contractors where possible.
“We want this to be part of the local community, and to support groups like Tidy Towns and Chambers of Commerce,” he said.
Virgin will offer a package of television, mobile, landline and broadband, at “exceptionally competitive” prices, on a par with Dublin prices, with an option to use 30 day contracts.
The speed will be 360mbs, expanded to 1gbs during the year.
He said the high speed network will create opportunities for foreign direct investment and for online sales, currently valued at €7.5bn per year, expected to double by 2021, as well as accommodate the growing trend for streaming live television and sharing videos and photos.
“This is fantastic for Portarlington, it changes everything,” said Cllr Padraig Fleming, asking if Graiguecullen, in the Laois side of Carlow town, could get connected up too.
“This is the only town in the area we are doing,” said Mr Davern.