Virgin switches on free public Wi-Fi in Drogheda and Gorey

18 Dec 2017

Image: farland2456/Shutterstock

Wireless town centres get connected just in time for Christmas.

Virgin Media has switched on free public Wi-Fi in two Irish towns – Drogheda and Gorey – which could prove vital to their local economies.

Last week, Virgin Media switched on free public Wi-Fi in Louth’s principal town, Drogheda. The Wi-Fi is located from Westcourt Hotel, West Street, and extends to Dominic Street.

And on Friday (15 December), it switched on a free public Wi-Fi network in Gorey, north Wexford, with the service extending from Market House on Main Street, covering between North Parade and John Street.

The services could prove a welcome boost to the local economy of the towns as shoppers and visitors toting smartphones can enjoy free connectivity to stay in touch and suss out deals.

High-street Wi-Fi

Virgin switches on free public Wi-Fi in Drogheda and Gorey

“We are delighted to be able to provide Ireland’s fastest and best Wi-Fi to Gorey town centre as part of our roll-out of broadband and TV services to homes and businesses in the town,” said Paul Farrell, vice-president of commercial at Virgin Media.

“Our speed leadership is made possible through our network investment programme. Today’s announcement is our first phase of introducing free public Wi-Fi zones in Gorey and [I] hope it will encourage more people to spend time in Gorey town centre at Christmas and throughout 2018, confident they can stay connected with Virgin Wi-Fi.”

Virgin is currently engaged in rolling out its Project Lightning broadband plan to connect 4m premises in Ireland and the UK.

The scale of the investment is worth £3bn, which Virgin Media said is the single biggest private investment in digital infrastructure in the UK and Ireland for more than a decade. It aims to deliver ultrafast speeds from 300Mpbs to 1Gbps and beyond.

In an interview with last week, Virgin Media Ireland chief executive Tony Hanway said it is all part of the company’s vision for the GigaWorld economy.

The Wi-Fi initiative was welcomed by Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Michael D’Arcy, TD.

“High-quality broadband networks have become critical to successful digital economies.

“As well as providing consumers with communication and entertainment services, fast and reliable broadband increases the productivity of businesses and provides individuals with access to substantial information and learning resources,” D’Arcy said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years