Three Laois communities first to benefit from Broadband Plan rollout

Charlie Flanagan welcomes the move

Leinster Express Reporter

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Three Laois communities are the first to be designated for high speed rural internet connection by being designated Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) under the National Broadband Plan. 

The three new BCPs in Laois are among 50 sites connected across the country under new “Connected Communities” initiative. Up to 275 communities around Ireland will have points by the end of 2020.

The sites in Laois are are at the following locations;

Vicarstown Community Centre
Oisin House Rossmore
Emo Community Centre

Laois/Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan said the BCPs are a key element of the national plan to get high speed access into rural communites.

“BCPs are among the first premises to be connected under the National Broadband Plan and are located in some of the most isolated and rural communities in the country

“They will provide communities Laois free high speed internet access at publicly-accessible sites under the Government’s new Connected Communities initiative.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shown the value of digital technology in enabling workers, businesses and families in Laois to stay connected and in touch with each other.  The BCPs are intended to bring people together through digital connectivity, and it’s that togetherness that I want to emphasise.

“When people can work from their own communities here in Laois, they can maintain the close connections that matter most: family, friends, community, and their homes. 

“More than that, they can support local businesses, sports and community groups, all of which contributes to sustainable communities,” said the TD.

A statement said the BCP initiative is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Local Authorities and the owners and managers of the BCP sites.

It is expected that about 200 public access BCP sites and 75 school BCPs will be connected in 2020, with further sites to be connected in early 2021. A full list of the connected BCPs is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/ publication/5634d-national- broadband-plan-map/

Some BCPs will support remote working, others will facilitate study and digital skills training, and many will act as community access hubs with indoors and outdoors WiFi.

BCPs will be provided with a temporary wireless high-speed broadband connection of up to 150mbps which they will keep for three years, or until they are provided with a permanent high-speed broadband connection under the NBP.

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) will act as the Wholesale Service Provider (WSP), while Vodafone Ireland will act as the Retail Service Provider (RSP).