By 2018, 85pc of Irish citizens will have high-speed broadband thanks to the National Broadband Plan. That will reach 100pc by 2020.

The new network will be future-proofed for 20 years and will cover the rural areas that commercial telecoms providers don’t currently serve, including 600,000 homes and 100,000 businesses.

It is understood that 38pc of the active labour force in Ireland – 688,000 people – live in areas underserved by broadband.