New wireless broadband service for rural Kerry

13 Jan 2006

A wireless broadband service provider serving Kerry is predicting fourfold growth in business for the coming year. Kerry Broadband has been established to provide people living outside Kerry’s urban centres with fast access to the internet.

The company was set up to compensate for the lack of a broadband service covering the whole county, claimed managing director Paul Dolan. He said that there was pent-up demand for fast internet access in Kerry but many people can not avail of it because of their location.

“As things stand the main providers offering a broadband service using the telephone line can only make it available to those living within three to four kilometres of the main exchange or in towns where the service is sought by 1,500 people,” Dolan said.

Kerry Broadband operates a wireless service with a transmitter that covers a wide rural area, including large parts of North Kerry, West Kerry and Mid Kerry. “We plan to make the service available to small towns and villages as well as isolated rural homes in Kerry,” said Dolan. This takes in towns such as Scartaglin and Beaufort as well as Ballyduff and Castlegregory and the greater Tralee area. “With the new technology in place we are now in a position to increase our coverage in most parts of Kerry as the demand grows,” Dolan added.

The company has approval from the communications regulator ComReg last year and according to Dolan most of its customers to date have come from rural areas who were unable to get a fixed-line broadband service. Kerry Broadband is listed on the consumer information website as an approved provider. Dolan said that this would lead to a fourfold increase in business this year.

Kerry Broadband offers two packages for home users and business users respectively. The consumer service is rated at 1Mbps download and 512Kbps upload. Business users can access the internet at 3Mbps download and 512Mbps upload.

The company is currently researching new technology that allows users to make and receive phone calls using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which costs less than calls via standard phone lines. Kerry Broadband has also set up a new wireless hotspot near Fenit harbour that allows visiting boats to access the internet from their own craft. The service is provided free of charge by the harbour.

By Gordon Smith