Bringing IoT to the island: Three boosts connectivity for Arranmore

6 Sep 2019

Fishing has been the lifeblood of Arranmore for centuries. Image: Three Ireland.

Three’s partnership with Arranmore will enhance connectivity for businesses and enable more people to live and work on the island.

Three Ireland officially launched the second phase of its partnership with Arranmore, the island off the coast of Donegal, yesterday (5 September).

The initiative began earlier this year with ambitions to generate new opportunities for the community and to overcome some of the connectivity challenges on the island. The goal is to achieve this by harnessing state-of-the-art internet of things (IoT) solutions.

In April, Three established a digital hub called MODAM (Mol Oifig Digiteach Árainn Mhór) on Arranmore. It has since enhanced the island’s connectivity for business and community facilities.

Island IoT

Much of Arranmore’s population is over the age of 65 and living alone. To help them live independently and safely, Three has been trialling solutions such as installing sensors on doors, appliances and water tanks, building a profile of the person’s habits and routine over time. The sensors pick up any dramatic changes and signal an alert to a family member or neighbour.

Arranmore’s main source of income is dependent on fishing. Using technology introduced by Three, workers can pinpoint their net locations in real time and ensuring that catches arrive in the best possible condition.

As an island off the coast of Ireland, weather is also a substantial factor for Arranmore’s residents to consider, particularly for work or travel, but the closest weather station is over 100km from the island.

To rectify this, Three has installed a localised, autonomous weather station on the island to provide residents and businesses with immediate and local weather information. Rainfall and tidal sensors have also been installed to constantly monitor changing conditions around Arranmore.

‘Bespoke solution’

Speaking about the continuation of the partnership, Eóin MacManus, chief business officer at Three Ireland, said: “We are delighted to build on our partnership with the Arranmore community by trialling innovative IoT solutions to assist with living and working on the island. We approached this project as we would any enterprise, working in partnership to identify the challenge and designing a bespoke solution to address it.”

Adrian Begley from the Arranmore Island Community Council added: “Since the launch of our partnership with Three we are seeing the great benefits of enhanced connectivity on the island. MODAM, our remote working hub, has had over 50 different users since it recently opened, and a number of islanders are looking to make a full-time move home. The deployment of the IoT solutions is taking the partnership to the next level, not just for those involved, but for the broader community.

“IoT is an exciting development for a community like Arranmore as its applications are wide ranging and can assist with everything from care of the elderly to improving productivity and working conditions in local traditional industries such as fishing. We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Three as we work towards our goal of making our island community more sustainable for the future.”

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021