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NBI Connects First Farm under the National Broadband Plan

National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the new future-proofed, high-speed Fibre-to-the-Home network under the National Broadband Plan on behalf of the Government, has announced that the first farm has been successfully connected near Crossdoney, County Cavan.

Tom Canning Agricultural Consultants Ltd., is the first farm business to be connected to the NBI network by Retail Service Provider, Eurona Arden Broadband. As the President of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) and Managing Director of Canning Consultants, a Farm Consultancy business, Mr Canning says he “expects to benefit hugely from a high-speed fibre connection”.

A reliable, high-speed broadband connection has never been so important for Ireland’s farming community, as the agricultural sector has experienced an accelerated adoption of technological advances in recent years. The Covid-19 pandemic also gave rise to the growing trend of virtual mart auctions, allowing farmers to trade livestock effectively online. 

Under the National Broadband Plan, over 544,000 premises nationwide are included in the Intervention Area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to identify areas where commercial operators are not currently providing access to high-speed broadband or do not intend to. The project sees NBI delivering minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second to farms, homes, businesses and schools.

As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification, County Cavan itself will receive €65m of Government investment under the National Broadband Plan to address 16,242 premises.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD said: “The National Broadband Plan is one of the most important and ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken by the State. Now, more than ever, we see how critical access to reliable, high-speed connectivity is to our lives. This marks another major milestone in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan as we see one of the first farms connected. Reliable access to high speed broadband will help farmers as they use agricultural technology to maximise efficiencies, diversify into more sustainable forms of farming, produce energy and run their day-to-day business operations.”

David McCourt, Chairman of National Broadband Ireland, commented: “This announcement welcoming the first farm connection in County Cavan is another extremely proud milestone for the National Broadband Plan as we see Tom Canning experiencing the life-changing benefits that high-speed broadband provides. While working in accordance with the Government’s Covid-19 guidelines to keep the public and our team safe, we are doing everything in our power to ensure we can connect more premises across the county and nationwide as quickly as possible.”

Tom Canning said: “We are delighted to be the first farm business to be connected under the National Broadband Plan. The need for the farming community to be connected to a high-speed network is vital as administration and the day-to-day running of a farm has moved online. For the purpose of my farm consultancy business, I also need a reliable network connection so I can effectively operate business from a rural base and I am already seeing the benefits from this connection. From speaking with others in the farming community, the NBP will benefit them hugely.”

Farmers, along with residents and businesses will be able to order their connections through a number of Retail Service Providers (RSPs) who will offer services over the network. As a wholesale provider, NBI will make the new Fibre-to-the-Home network available to all RSPs operating in the Intervention Area. Some 42 RSPs have already signed up to sell services on the NBI network and 17 are certified as ready to start providing connections asof today. 

NBI is encouraging people to check their eligibility and register for updates at www.nbi.ie/eoi to receive regular notifications related to their own premises as works progresses in their area.