Wednesday 7 December 2016

The launch of Ludgate in Skibbereen and what gigabit technology can do for rural Ireland

Published 03/08/2016 | 14:41

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This week’s Ready Business podcast was at the launch of Ireland’s first gigabit digital hub, the Ludgate centre in Skibbereen, west Cork, to find out what it’s like to have gigabit technology at your fingertips and what difference it can make to Irish businesses in rural Ireland.

A group of some of Ireland’s most prominent business people with connections to the west Cork area decided that they wouldn’t wait around anymore for high-speed internet to come to them and instead, made it happen for themselves.

And so Ludgate was born.

REPRO FREE
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell OÕConnor TD has today officially opened a 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps) digital hub in Skibbereen. The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which originally served as the local cinema from 1941 Ð 1981 and then a bakery, has been transformed into a 10,000 sq. ft digital hub which is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland. The Ludgate Hub is part of an initiative which aims to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West Cork region and seeks to create 500 jobs in five years with an initial 75+ jobs in the start-up phase. Pictured at the launch are Sean Atkinson, CEO of SIRO; John Field who donated the building; Sean OÕDriscoll, Glen Dimplex Group President; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell OÕConnor TD and Anne OÕLeary, CEO of Vodafone.
Picture. John Allen
REPRO FREE Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell OÕConnor TD has today officially opened a 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps) digital hub in Skibbereen. The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which originally served as the local cinema from 1941 Ð 1981 and then a bakery, has been transformed into a 10,000 sq. ft digital hub which is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland. The Ludgate Hub is part of an initiative which aims to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West Cork region and seeks to create 500 jobs in five years with an initial 75+ jobs in the start-up phase. Pictured at the launch are Sean Atkinson, CEO of SIRO; John Field who donated the building; Sean OÕDriscoll, Glen Dimplex Group President; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell OÕConnor TD and Anne OÕLeary, CEO of Vodafone. Picture. John Allen

A digital hub with a difference, it is Ireland’s first – and so far only -  gigabit town with three times the connectivity of Dublin.  And all from rural Ireland, far from urban centres.

Presenter Brian Purcell spoke to some of the visionaries behind this plan, including Glen Dimplex President, Sean O’Driscoll, local businessman, John Field, and film-maker and digital educator, Lord David Puttnam, as well key supporters such as Google Ireland’s Ronan Harris and Vodafone Ireland CEO, Anne O’Leary.

The connectivity that Ludgate offers means that people are now looking to move back to west Cork to set up or expand their businesses and we caught up with Ger O’Shea from Granite Digital and Mike and Carina Collins from ‘Your Irish Heritage’ to find out why they have based themselves in Ludgate.

If Ludgate is the start and shows the potential of what can be achieved by bringing high-speed internet to rural Ireland, is this a game-changer and the future for the rest of the country?  Brian Purcell spoke to INM’s Technology Editor, Adrian Weckler, to find out more.

The Ready Business show, in association with Vodafone, is available every Thursday via iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher and Independent.ie. Or subscribe to the RSS feed of the Ready Business Podcast using your favourite podcatcher.

You can check out the full Ready Business Podcast series here.

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