Eircom has begun a nationwide competition to find the “next Belcarra” – a village or community that it intends to connect to 1Gbps fibre broadband in a €250,000 investment.
Communities across Ireland are being encouraged to enter a competition that involves presenting a compelling case as to why their village or town deserves to get high-speed fibre broadband ahead of the National Broadband Plan rollout.
The competition comes on the heels of the successful trial of 1Gbps in Belcarra in Mayo, the first rural town that Eircom selected to deploy the fibre broadband service.
In September, Eircom is expected to begin lighting up the first of 66 fibre-to-the-home towns across Ireland – affecting 300,000 premises – that will get 1Gbps broadband.
By 2020, 35pc of all premises in Ireland will have broadband speeds of 1Gbps, according to Eircom.
Could your community be next in line for 1Gbps broadband?
“We’ve been building our high-speed fibre network since 2012,” explained Eircom Wholesale managing director Carolan Lennon.
“Today, 1.2 million homes and businesses can access speeds of up to 100Mbps. By next year, we will reach 1.6m and then 1.9 million by 2020. We are also evolving the technology deployed so that we can offer speeds of up to 1Gbps, comparable with the best broadband speeds available.”
She said that the FibrePower Your Community competition is part of the company’s preparation to gain insights before rolling out the new technology in scale.
“We want to ensure that deploying a high-speed broadband network delivers real benefits to communities. In Belcarra, we saw first-hand how a community can benefit from this type of infrastructure.
“We believe this competition will highlight the huge demand for high-speed broadband and demonstrate that an investment of this size can and will transform lives and businesses in rural communities.”
Supporting the competition and acting as judges are the Small Firms Association, Silicon Republic and the Irish Farming Association (IFA), all of whom welcome the initiative and see how the benefits can transform a community.
Communities interested in entering the competition can do so here.
The closing date for entries is Tuesday 15 September.
Be the next Belcarra (video)
Old pink Irish cottage image via Shutterstock