NBI Connects First Farm under the National Broadband Plan | News and Media | NBI

NBI Connects First Farm under the National Broadband Plan

1st April 2021

First farm in Cavan successfully connected by National Broadband Ireland to new high-speed fibre network achieving minimum speeds of 500Mbps

National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the new future-proofed, high-speed Fibre-to-the-Home network under the National Broadband Plan on behalf of the Government, has announced that the first farm has been successfully connected near Crossdoney, County Cavan.

Tom Canning Agricultural Consultants Ltd., is the first farm business to be connected to the NBI network by Retail Service Provider, Eurona Arden Broadband. As the President of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) and Managing Director of Canning Consultants, a Farm Consultancy business, Mr Canning says he “expects to benefit hugely from a high-speed fibre connection”.

A reliable, high-speed broadband connection has never been so important for Ireland’s farming community, as the agricultural sector has experienced an accelerated adoption of technological advances in recent years. Not only are essential business operations increasingly moving online, but farmers are utilising new technologies such as smart-farming devices to maximise production and realise significant efficiencies. 

The Covid-19 pandemic also gave rise to the growing trend of virtual mart auctions, allowing farmers to trade livestock effectively online. As an industry with a heritage of innovation, farmers have embraced the benefits of technology to achieve cost savings, reduce administration and access information in order to improve livestock management; all making reliable, high-speed broadband essential to their future success. 

Under the National Broadband Plan, over 544,000 premises nationwide are included in the Intervention Area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to identify areas where commercial operators are not currently providing access to high-speed broadband or do not intend to.   The project sees NBI delivering minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second to farms, homes, businesses and schools.

As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification, County Cavan itself will receive €65m of Government investment under the National Broadband Plan to address 16,242 premises.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD said:

“The National Broadband Plan is one of the most important and ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken by the State. Now, more than ever, we see how critical access to reliable, high-speed connectivity is to our lives.  Today marks another major milestone in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan as we see one of the first farms connected. Reliable access to high speed broadband will help farmers as they use agricultural technology to maximise efficiencies, diversify into more sustainable forms of farming, produce energy and run their day-to-day business operations.”

Minister of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys said:

“The National Broadband Plan is an investment in Ireland’s future prosperity. Its purpose is to close the digital divide and to provide a level playing field for businesses and communities, regardless of location. It is central to the Government’s new rural development policy, Our Rural Future, and its overriding ambition is for a resilient, sustainable and prosperous Ireland. Today, I am delighted to see the first of many farms connected under the National Broadband Plan. Agriculture is a crucial element of Ireland’s economy and farming families occupy a special place in their communities and within our shared culture.

Rural communities are places of innovation and creativity, where new approaches are tried and novel concepts perfected and proven. The high-speed fibre connectivity provided under the NBP will allow rural innovation to continue and for more ambitious developments to emerge. The NBP will allow people to remain in their communities, rather than commute or move home for work. It will draw people out of the cities to our rural heartlands and it will strengthen us as a nation, unleashing so much of our country’s talent and passion.”

David McCourt, Chairman of National Broadband Ireland, commented:

“Today’s announcement welcoming the first farm connection in County Cavan is another extremely proud milestone for the National Broadband Plan as we see Tom Canning experiencing the life-changing benefits that high-speed broadband provides. While working in accordance with the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines to keep the public and our team safe, we are doing everything in our power to ensure we can connect more premises across the county and nationwide as quickly as possible.”

Tom Canning said:

“We are delighted to be the first farm business to be connected under the National Broadband Plan. The need for the farming community to be connected to a high-speed network is vital as administration and the day-to-day running of a farm has moved online. For the purpose of my farm consultancy business, I also need a reliable network connection so I can effectively operate business from a rural base and I am already seeing the benefits from this connection. From speaking with others in the farming community, the NBP will benefit them hugely.”

Farmers, along with residents and businesses will be able to order their connections through a number of Retail Service Providers (RSPs) who will offer services over the network. As a wholesale provider, NBI will make the new Fibre-to-the-Home network available to all RSPs operating in the Intervention Area. Some 42 RSPs have already signed up to sell services on the NBI network and 17 are certified as ready to start providing connections as of today. This is expected to bring significant benefits directly to consumers and businesses, where competition between RSPs will ensure quality bundled packages offer choice around voice, broadband, TV and mobile at competitive prices.  To find out more about the RSPs signed up to offer services over the new network visit: www.nbi.ie/where-can-i-buy/.

NBI is encouraging people to check their eligibility and register for updates at www.nbi.ie/eoi to receive regular notifications related to their own premises as works progresses in their area. 

About NBI

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is designing, building and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland. NBI’s team brings together some of the most talented individuals in Ireland and across the world, with deep knowledge and experience in delivering projects to the scale of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). This includes developing, building and operating networks and coordinating all the elements required to finance and deliver a project of the size and complexity of Ireland’s NBP.

NBI was established by Granahan McCourt, an international investor in technology, media and telecommunications. For over 30 years, Granahan McCourt has partnered with governments, corporations and communities to connect people through innovation in technologically underserved areas of the world.

NBI’s partners include KN Group, Secto and Actavo. Nokia is providing all the active equipment for the project while 4Site is the network design partner. NBI is also working with infrastructure owners such as eir (pole and ducts network) and Enet (MANs and Broadband Connection Points) NBI will be responsible for the management of the new national broadband network for at least the next 25 years.

About the Intervention Area

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the government’s initiative to deliver high-speed broadband services to all premises in Ireland. This will be delivered through intervention by the State in those parts of the country where private companies have indicated they have no plans to invest.

The State Intervention Area for the National Broadband Plan includes over 544,000 premises and over 1.1 million people and includes any new homes built in the Intervention Area over the next 25 years. 

The Intervention Area can be viewed using the government’s High Speed Broadband Map (www.broadband.gov.ie) which shows the areas which are included in the National Broadband Plan. The map is colour coded and searchable by address and Eircode.

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