The National Broadband Plan will give a tremendous boost to the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) region which stretches along the Western Seaboard from Kerry to Donegal.
The Government’s investment in high speed broadband under will have a transformative effect on rural Ireland.
The counties along the AEC contain some of the county’s most peripheral rural areas, where it is not viable for commercial providers to bring high speed broadband to every premises.
Through the National Broadband Plan, the Government intends to fill that gap in provision, and ensure equality of access to broadband services in all parts of Ireland.
Collectively, over 228,000 premises in the nine counties of the Atlantic Economic Corridor region will benefit under the National Broadband Plan.
This accounts for 34% of all premises to be provided with high speed broadband under the Plan nationally. The State’s investment in these counties will amount to €938 million.
The provision of high speed broadband will support business development, job creation and economic growth in the AEC region, and will have tremendous benefits for people who want to live and work in the West of Ireland.
One of the practical ways improved broadband connectivity will help to support job creation is through facilitating people who want to work remotely from their homes or enterprise hubs in rural locations. Remote working will also be a boost to employers, by enabling them to access a wider group of skilled workers, working remotely, who might not otherwise be available to them.
As Minister for Digital Development, I recently announced funding of €1 million for a network of enterprise hubs and digital working spaces along the Atlantic Economic Corridor which will help to drive economic development and contribute to our regional development goals. The provision of high speed broadband to homes and businesses along the Corridor will further boost that initiative and bring great benefits to rural communities.