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'Skyping my daughter's a nightmare'


Angela Gallagher Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Angela Gallagher Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Angela Gallagher Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Award-winning blogger and Age Action technology campaigner Angela Gallagher warned that rural Ireland's broadband problems can prove an absolute nightmare.

She was encouraged to start writing a blog in 2009 when her daughter Lara and grandchildren moved to Australia from Newcastlewest in Co Limerick.

But Angela discovered how frustrating a rural location can be. "My daughter lived in Newcastlewest in west Limerick and she could get decent broadband," she explained.

"I lived only a few miles out the road in Ardagh but I couldn't get broadband at all.

"My son Damian set me up to start writing a blog on Wordpress and encouraged me to use Skype because he felt it would help keep me in touch with Lara and the grandchildren.

"That's when I discovered the nightmare of being in rural Ireland and trying to get good, reliable broadband.

"The dial-up signal was unbelievably frustrating.

"The whole purpose of the thing was to be able to stay in contact by Skype with Lara in Australia but it would never work because the internet speeds were so slow."

Angela then had to rely on travelling to her son in Midleton in east Cork - almost 100km away - to avail of his fast broadband connection.

Angela became a committed IT campaigner - and believes every Irish community should have access to decent quality broadband.

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"Great work has been done by companies like BBNet in Adare. They've worked to get wireless broadband connections to rural areas," she said.