Our Rural Future: Waterford City & County Council and Minister Humphreys launch Broadband Connection Points (BCP’s)
- Knockanore Community Centre
- Ballysaggart Community Centre
- Modeligo Community Hall
- Mount Melleray Community Hall
Waterford City & County Council, and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD today launched the county’s Broadband Connection Points (BCPs).
The rollout of the BCPs are a key part of the Connected Communities Initiative, which is led by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications in partnership with National Broadband Ireland and Vodafone.
‘Connected Communities’ delivers high-speed internet access at publicly accessible sites for remote work, study, community/digital skills training, filing of forms and applications and a host of other digitally enabled services and amenities.
The initiative provides communities with connectivity (amber area of the National Broadband Plan), in advance of homes and businesses receiving future-proofed fibre broadband directly to their door.
The rollout of 300 BCPs nationwide is a key part of Our Rural Future, the Government’s five year strategy for rural Ireland.
Today, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys formally announced the four BCPs for Waterford.
Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to officially launch the Waterford BCP network today.
“As part of the Connected Communities Initiative, this is an important step in having Waterford fully connected under the National Broadband Plan.
“The Government’s ambitious new plan for rural Ireland, Our Rural Future, places a huge emphasis on remote working and improving digital connectivity in our rural communities.
“The connectivity brought through the BCPs will be key to making these communities more attractive places to live, work and raise a family.
“As Minister, I am delighted to provide funding for a dedicated Broadband Officer in Waterford Local Authority. Not alone is my Department supporting the delivery of BCPs in terms of connections, we are also providing funding to support the fit out of these locations under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and we will continue to support Waterford with its plans for future development”.
Councillor Geoghegan Cathaoirleach of Waterford City & County Council stated:
“these facilities offer free WIFI outside in the car park and inside the community centre which is set up taking into account social distancing for citizens who need to complete tasks online, all free of charge”.
Councillor James Tobin Cathaoirleach of Dungarvan/Lismore District Council stated:
“Access to high-speed broadband connectivity has never been of greater importance and has become a vital utility, particularly in our rural communities. We are delighted to see Knockanore, Ballysaggart, Modeligo and Mount Mellary Community Centres open as Broadband connection points (community WIFI). The local community and surrounding communities can call to the community centre and access this high-speed broadband. This is a significant milestone for the area”.
Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services, Waterford City & County Council:
“welcomed the launch of the County’s BCP’s, highlighting the important roll BCPs can play in providing access to high-speed broadband during the Covid-19 crisis, enabling rural communities to stay connected and in touch”.
Jack Doyle, the Council’s Head of IS and Digital Officer stated:
“Waterford City & County Council are delighted that Waterford have 4 BCP’s connected at Knockanore Community Centre, I wish to thank the local community volunteers at the 4 Community Centre’s for their vital input and help in getting the sites up and running. I would like to invite all citizens to come and experience this community WI-FI.”
Peter Hendrick, Chief Executive Officer at National Broadband Ireland, commented:
“NBI is proud to be empowering the Broadband Connection Points programme by installing community facilities with essential access to free high-speed internet access. As our teams continue to make tremendous progress with our Fibre-to-the-Home rollout to bring high-speed broadband to every home, farm, business and school in the Intervention Area, Broadband Connection Points pave the way for the wider rollout of the National Broadband Plan.”
Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland said:
“Vodafone is proud to partner with Government on Connected Communities, providing best in class Wi-Fi to rural communities across Ireland. Today, we are delighted to see the launch of Waterford Connected Communities, bringing high-speed connectivity across the county. Technology and connectivity has afforded us a sense of normality in truly abnormal times and has supported the dramatic and necessary shift to online in terms of how we live, work and interact. These Connected Communities will help Waterford embrace this digital society by giving opportunities for remote work, study, community and digital skills training and a host of other digitally enabled services. As they evolve and grow, Connected Communities will provide an opportunity to transform the economic and social fabric of rural towns and communities by addressing the digital divide, improving lives, creating jobs and stimulating rural economic growth”.
The broadband officer also thanked the Dept of Rural and Community Development, Dept. of Environment, Climate and Communications, National Broadband Ireland, and Vodafone Ireland for their work to develop a network of BCPs in Co. Waterford under the connected communities initiative.
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