An Eircom high-speed ADSL spanning Clonakilty town will be unveiled next week by the Minister for Agriculture and Food, Joe Walsh TD, following a rigorous campaign by the local West Cork Technology Task Force. The latest move brings to €16m the value of state-of-the-art telecoms services being invested in the West Cork Business and Technology Park, located on the edge of the picturesque town.
The West Cork Technology Task Force is made up of local business people, educationalists and development agencies, and according to its marketing director John Connolly, it has made significant strides over the last four years in making the area attractive for technology and business investment.
The most significant achievement of the group to data has been the development of the €30m West Cork Business and Technology Park on the edge of Clonakilty in collaboration with the locally-based Fleming Group.
The 300,000sq ft park has already succeeded in attracting seven companies operating in a variety of high-tech sectors and employing close to 150 people. Three more companies are expected to set up on the site in the next few months with plans to employ a further 150 people, including Premiere Conferencing, a US multinational that provides conference call facilities to blue chip companies worldwide. The company’s European headquarters in the park currently employs 70 people in a variety of sales, customer service, human resource and IT support roles, and uses the most advanced broadband facilities available in the country, says Connolly.
Another company on-site is Ecom interaction, an Irish company that provides third-party customer support services to a range of companies in the financial services, airline, telecom and retail areas. The company currently employs 40 people and is expanding rapidly.
Connolly explained: “We have taken a very proactive approach to providing the necessary skills and infrastructure for companies wishing to set up facilities here. Not only do we provide first-class office accommodation, childcare facilities and a database of skilled personnel available locally, we have also put a major emphasis on telecommunications.
“We have been very proactive in ensuring our telecommunication infrastructure is the very best it can possibly be. Both of the leading telecommunication companies in the country, Eircom and Esat BT provide the full remit of services on site from basic internet connectivity right through to the full range of leased lines (64k – 2MB) right up to full broadband capability. Both companies provide capacity for 48 lines with 155Mbps broadband and Eircom’s fibre optic network includes a self-healing loop and connectivity to two different exchange routes thereby providing maximum protection to incoming clients.”
He went on: “The Eircom fibre network was laid when the park was first developed whilst the Esat BT fibre network came about as a result of a collaboration between ourselves and Esat BT under the first round of proposals under the National Development Plan. We estimate there is at least €16m worth of telecoms infrastructure coming in to the park at present.
“The launch of an ADSL service here next week is another major step in ensuring our telecommunications infrastructure is up to the highest standard available,” Connolly said.
The companies expected on site in the coming months will include two smaller back office processing operations one an Irish operation and another a UK company that could potentially employ up to 50 people initially.
The Bandon-based SWS Group, a leading diversified services business operating in the area of IT, energy, property and business services will also be setting up a significant back office processing operation at the park which will involve up to 80 jobs initially. This division carries out back office processing work for the Department of Agriculture, Department of Transport and for companies such as Kerry Group, Dairygold and Heineken Ireland.
By John Kennedy