From farmers to funeral directors – superfast broadband is to key to surviving and thriving
Every business, today is an online business, and it is essential that every business has high-speed broadband to operate and succeed. There isn’t a business in Ireland that wouldn’t be more efficient with 1GB broadband. Farmers now must complete permits and application forms online and need immediate access to detailed market information. Without a fast broadband connection, they cannot maximise the way they run their businesses.
The reality is, however, that many businesses in rural areas are faced with either slow or no internet connections which hamper their growth and development.
High-speed broadband first needs to be available to everyone and secondly, it should always be ‘on’, just like our drinking water. Not very long ago it was only professional services businesses such as accountants, law firms and media companies that needed a 1Gb service.
Now the drive to have everything available online, with everyone wanting to stay connected no matter where they go, is making high-speed broadband essential. No matter what the size of the business, it needs to be connected to be successful, with immediate access to virtual private networks (VPNs) and online services such as banking, cloud applications and remote training.
Health Care practices are also becoming more reliant on the broadband for their daily tasks with the move to eHealth and the provision of healthcare services to rural areas via telemedicine.
These are businesses and organisations of widely varying sizes and requirements and they will seek carriers that can match their needs as closely as possible. That makes it all the more important that high-speed broadband is available on an open-access network to ensure that there is choice, so that businesses are not constrained by a limited market or a monolithic provider. enet will overcome these constraints, enabling all businesses to connect to an open access network to ensure they can avail of the endless opportunities for growth.
This next generation of fibre infrastructure is already ramping up the capabilities of large businesses, but has anyone thought about the local chip shop, the hairdresser and the funeral director? Who has thought about what their future looks like with high-speed broadband, beyond checking emails?
These needs are not all mainstream yet, but just as we didn’t know the how electricity would be used when it spread out, so it is with high-speed broadband. What we do know is that the chip shop needs to stay competitive by using digital platforms like Just Eat to gain more customers. To do that you need a high-speed connection to have timely orders. With high-speed broadband, the geographical reach of a business selling anything from knitwear to washing machine parts also expands hugely.
It is true that a hairdresser or beauty salon in Cork is not going to sell many haircuts or treatments to residents in Ballinasloe, but they do need high-speed broadband to offer waiting customers free Wi-Fi to entertain and keep their custom in a competitive market. And they do need to manage their bookings with new booking software.
The funeral director too will need to provide additional services to its clients, including live video-streaming of the funeral to those who were unable to attend. This service would not be possible without high-speed broadband.
High-speed broadband is essential for the future of all business sectors, no matter what they do or where they are located. It’s vital for Ireland to ensure that all businesses can access high-speed broadband that is ubiquitous, on an open-access, fibre network.