Broadband Action Plan launches in Ardee
Louth Economic Forum launched their Broadband Action Plan in Ardee earlier today, with the county becoming Ireland’s first to produce a local draft plan on the back of the National Broadband Plan.
Speaking at the launch of the plan at Ardee Business Park, Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD, pictured below, spoke of the importance of the widespread availability of high speed broadband for business and the economy locally.
“I would like to congratulate Louth on being the first county in the country to draft a local broadband plan and in showing leadership in this area,” he said. “The availability of high speed broadband is vital in attracting new business, both international and indigenous, in job creation and economic prosperity.
“In the world in which we live, broadband is a deciding factor when businesses are choosing where to locate and it’s one that Louth can influence, through the implementation of this plan,” he continued.
Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue also spoke at the launch and cited Ardee’s position as one of Ireland’s ‘fibre town’s as why such a programme should be launched in the town.
“It is very fitting that we’re launching this plan in Ardee today as it is a ‘poster child’ for high speed broadband, being as it is one of the country’s ‘fibre towns’,” she said.
“Every business in the town centre, and Ardee Business Park, has access to high speed broadband through the enet Fibre to the Business (FTTB) project.
“This has had huge impact on businesses in the community, allowing them to successfully and confidently conduct business over the internet,” Minogue, pictured below, stated.
The plan aims to build on the current level of broadband connectivity across Louth. There is a particular focus on ensuring rural areas that currently have no or inadequate broadband access are catered for.
User-friendly procedures for companies investing in new broadband infrastructures are among the actions outlined in the new plan by the Louth Economic Forum. It also identifies some broadband ‘blackspots’ in the area that require immediate work.
Chairperson of Louth County Council Joan Martin was also present at the event at the Ardee Business Park and she said, “Broadband is now essential for companies, whether they want to trade online, use cloud computing, adopt innovative technologies or introduce more flexible working patterns.
“Louth is currently the third most connected county in Ireland. By the end of 2016, it is hoped that 85 per cent of premises here will have access to high speed broadband,” she commented.
“While Louth County Council cannot supply fast broadband, it can put the processes in place to facilitate such access. We hope that this action plan will put us on the path of becoming the most connected county in the country.
“There are few areas of modern life that are not touched in some way by broadband connectivity – whether it’s supporting how we work, how we learn, how we communicate with friends and family, or how we are entertained,” Martin continued.