A new partnership will see internet speeds of up to 500Mbps in selected Dublin locations as part of a €120 Europe-wide plan.
A new free-to-use public Wi-Fi service is coming to more than 30 locations in Dublin.
It will be delivered through a partnership between Virgin Media Business and Dublin City Council and will see internet speeds of up to 500Mbps available.
The initiative is part of the WiFi4EU programme, which is in turn part of a €120m Europe-wide plan to provide communities with better Wi-Fi connectivity in public spaces and places. It is funded through the EU and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
In 2018, the European initiative granted €885,000 in funding to provide 59 public areas across Ireland with free, open-access Wi-Fi. Now, the service will be rolled out in public spaces around Dublin.
Virgin Media Ireland’s director of business, Aidan D’Arcy, said: “Our expertise in offering cutting-edge broadband speeds is playing a crucial role in enabling businesses, residents and visitors to stay connected, to keep trading, and to build vibrant and digitally inclusive communities going forward.”
The initiative is part of a three-year partnership with Dublin City Council’s Smart Dublin programme, designed to enhance digital skills, literacy and accelerate innovation across the city.
Smart Dublin was founded by the four Dublin local authorities. It aims to future-proof the Dublin regions by trialling technology solutions to address a wide range of local challenges.
Dublin City Council’s smart city lead, Jamie Cudden, said the council is delighted to partner with Virgin Media Business to deliver public Wi-Fi services across the city.
“This programme will support connectivity in areas of the city that need it most with a particular emphasis on strengthening community engagement and supporting wider digital innovation initiatives,” he said.
As well as Wi-Fi connectivity, other initiatives under the Smart Dublin programme include a recent partnership with Google to measure air quality across the city for one year using a Google Street View car.
The news comes as discussions around rural connectivity continue. Earlier this year, the Irish Government announced its five-year rural strategy, with investments focused on enabling remote working in rural communities, revitalising town centres and rolling out broadband.