Eir brings 5G internet to Kerry’s Black Valley

1 Jun 2023

From left: Fergal McCann, Maeve O'Malley, Eilise Sullivan and Kealan Donoghue. Image: Dominick Walsh

Known to have been a connectivity black spot in the past, residents of the valley can now access Eir’s 5G internet.

Kerry’s Black Valley, home to one of Ireland’s most remote communities, is now connected to 5G internet thanks to Eir.

The Irish telecoms company announced today (1 June) that local residents using Eir in the picturesque Black Valley will now be able to access 5G internet.

Eir said has now connected 550 cities, towns and communities across Ireland to its 5G network, equivalent to around 85pc of the country’s population.

Oliver Loomes, CEO of Eir, said that the latest roll-out in the Black Valley marks “a significant milestone on our journey to connect Ireland with future-proofed technology”.

Situated at the southern end of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in Kerry, the Black Valley is known for being one of the last places in Ireland to be connected to electricity and telephone networks due to its remote location.

“We believe that this delivery will empower the local community and drive innovation and growth in the region,” Loomes said.

“We are proud to have played a role in connecting this beautiful valley in the heart of Killarney National Park, and we look forward to continuing to expand our network to benefit communities all across Ireland.”

Eir said that the thousands of tourists who visit the valley every year will now be able to livestream their experiences on social media without worrying about network issues. Kerry’s mountain rescue service is also expected to benefit from the connection, the company said.

Black Valley’s latest connection is Eir’s 15th district in Kerry and follows an investment of more than €600,000, which the company said is roughly a fifth of total 5G investment in the county.

Two years ago, the valley was chosen to be one of the pilot locations for Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service operated by SpaceX.

“Starlink is ideally suited for areas of the globe where connectivity has typically been a challenge,” the company said at the time.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic