THEY happened 150 years apart but a B&B overlooking Valentia Island where the first transatlantic cable was sent from, has become the one millionth premises to get superfast broadband.
The communications milestone was reached in Cahirsiveen, Co Kerry when Alan and Ann Landers were signed up as Eircom’s one millionth customers to have their home broadband enabled.
The Landers’ bed and breakfast, San Antoine, is now among the half of Irish homes and businesses that can avail of superfast fibre broadband with speeds of up to 100Mb per second.
Mr Landers, who is also a professional photographer and runs a local computer club, said being broadband enabled will have a huge impact on the B&B as well as his photography business.
“There will definitely be less shouting from the kids - Jack (15) and Sarah (13) - when I’m uploading or sending photographs,” he said.
“The speeds I’ll be getting will be about three times faster than I was used to but it will also be important for our guests in the B&B as more devices can be connected to the internet at the same time.
“All our domestic and international visitors want and expect to have reliable, fast broadband access, so they can email, Skype or stream videos with their family and friends.
“The fact that we can offer that service now is a huge plus for us and should help us grow our business,” he added
Coincidentally, the Landers’ home overlooks Valentia Island where the first transatlantic telegraph cable from Europe was sent to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland on August 16, 1858.
Communications Minister Alex White and Eircom chairman Padraig McManus as well as its chief executive Herb Hribar and Carolan Lennon were also in the Co Kerry town to mark the milestone.
Eircom plans to expand its fibre broadband network as part of its €1.5bn investment to reach 1.6 million premises by the end of 2016, when it will be available in every town in Ireland with a population exceeding 900 residents.