Enet Blog

Aug 3, 2018

Location, Location, Location - Better Broadband Draws The Crowd

According to the latest census, Killarney is Ireland’s oldest town by population age - the number of people aged over 65 has risen by 19%. Like many parts of rural Ireland, Killarney’s young people are attracted to larger urban centres for third level education and greater job prospects.

In addition to there being advantages to living in rural Ireland, there are also many reasons that limit the opportunities and job prospects in these communities including the lack of high-speed, reliable broadband. In today’s world, technology is the life blood of most businesses – large or small. Report after report suggests that the quality of broadband, as well as availability of broadband have improved dramatically in large cities and towns in recent years. Indeed, in early July a report entitled “Worldwide Broadband Speed League 2018” * published by Cable, had Ireland in 36th place. Commentary from John Kennedy in SiliconRepublic, suggests that “vast gains in urban areas” are being made.

It is obvious, to us, at least, that better broadband infrastructure leads to a removal of barriers and an increased chance of job announcements, which in turn offers young people more enticing prospects, however these opportunities are not always close to home. We have previously reported that “Newsweaver”, one of Europe’s leading email newsletter software providers, relocated from Bandon to Cork City and connected to the MAN, ensuring that they had highspeed broadband.

As the world becomes increasingly advanced and tech savvy, it is clear that high speed broadband across the country is needed. There is an obvious opportunity for further development in rural Ireland and we all, industry and policy makers alike, have a role to play in delivering high speed broadband sooner rather than later.

* The data is based on over 163 million speed tests in 200 countries and was collected across the 12 months up to 29th May 2018 by M-Lab, a partnership between New America's Open Technology Institute, Google Open Source Research, Princeton University's PlanetLab and other supporting partners, and compiled by Cable.

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