'Huge relief' for internet-cafe couple
SMALL business owner Philip Thompson feels excluded from the world.
Along with his wife Linda, they have defied the odds and managed to successfully build a thriving computer business during the recession.
But the lack of high-quality broadband services has proved to be a difficulty for him.
He believes the Government's fibre-powered broadband investment announcement yesterday is a "positive" forecast for the future.
"We have an internet cafe so it has to be proper broadband," the 40-year-old explained. "The broadband we have is just about able to do the internet cafe."
He runs Loughrea Computers with Linda (32) in the Co Galway town.
"It is a headache that we don't have (fibre-powered broadband) at this time, considering we are supposed to be more advanced than out in the rural areas."
Mr Thompson said that the €500m investment into 1,000 small rural towns and villages would come as a massive "relief".
For his business, it meant they could now work on a much-anticipated expansion plan.
"The biggest thing is how much time people spend sitting staring at their computer while trying to send an attachment of any kind," he said.
"We have so much fibre power passing our doorstep it is sickening. There are a lot of software projects and collaborations that we could go at.
"We are going to be deploying something that will need a really fast internet connection, like fibre speed. When we get that it will help us grow," he said.