NBI and Macra Na Feirme launch agri-sector research findings

Over two thirds of a recently polled farming community (67%) say that the introduction of high-speed broadband to their area will allow people to make more environmentally sustainable choices when buying goods or services, according to a new study launched by National Broadband Ireland (NBI), in partnership with Macra Na Feirme. Demonstrating the potential for NBI’s high speed fibre network to play a role with carbon dioxide reductions, the study also found that nearly 6 in 10 (59%) thought that the introduction of high speed broadband will help reduce carbon emissions. 

The report also finds that over 9 in 10 (93%) believe that high speed broadband will improve their quality of life, while 85% stated that high speed broadband will improve social opportunities. 

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, the company delivering the Government’s National Broadband Plan, commented, “NBI believes that broadband is a vital success factor for any farm or agri-business and our experience has shown us that farms are readily connecting to our network; with the likes of Roscommon, Cavan and Mullingar deployment areas witnessing 35% plus take-up to date.  What’s evident from the research is that farm families and agri businesses also see that the availability of fibre broadband will improve their quality of life and improve opportunities.”

Mr. Hendrick continued, “For me, the really interesting finding is the potential that farmers and the sector see in the availability of high-speed broadband to play a role in reducing carbon emissions.”

Mick Curran, CEO of Macra Na Feirme , commented: “Macra welcomes NBI’s research undertaken at the National Ploughing Championships, as there are strong positive messages surfacing – namely that 59% of farmers are currently using farming technology, while only a small minority of 16%, do not currently intend to use any farming technology.  The research also highlights the belief of a large divide between urban and rural Ireland in respect of access to high-speed broadband. Macra also know this to be true; the divide unfortunately exists, however, the efforts by NBI in bringing high speed broadband to each and every home in the land are both heartening and welcome. The idea that no home is being left behind is important and we can already see the difference the National Broadband Plan is having in removing that divide.”

Mr. Curran added, “We also welcome the capabilities that NBI’s rollout will bring to all rural dwellers. The rollout will afford them the opportunity to work in a location where they wish to live, as well as providing the necessary tools for Irish Farmers who want to embrace technology to make their enterprises even more efficient.”

The Farming Community Research fieldwork was carried out by leading independent market intelligence company, Core Research, and was substantively completed at The Ploughing Championships 2022, recently held in Ratheniska, Co. Laois. The study also gained insights from respondents via Macra Na Feirme’s biweekly ezine to their membership.