Saturday 25 May 2019

Just the business: Fibre lighting way for small-town jobs


Adam Coleman says broadband connections are crucial for rural communities to survive – and thrive. Picture: Fennells
Adam Coleman says broadband connections are crucial for rural communities to survive – and thrive. Picture: Fennells
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

Business owner Adam Coleman says he will not be able to expand his company if broadband in his area is not upgraded.

Mr Coleman is the chief executive of HRLocker with headquarters in Lahinch, Co Clare, and he believes the area urgently needs broadband fibre to be fully rolled out.

His company is a human resource cloud software company which employs 15 people and he has plans to expand massively.

Fibre broadband was rolled out in Lahinch about a year ago, and the speeds are OK for the company to operate, he said. But the quality of service depends on where in the area people are living and how many are accessing broadband at any time, with full fibre broadband not available everywhere.

"In the winter time, 700 people live here and our fibre is wonderful. In the summer, up to 10,000 people are here," he said.

Mr Coleman's company is about to open a new HQ in Lahinch in November and he will require full fibre broadband in the new premises - which he hopes to get.

"It's not hindering us now. We are about to add two more people to the company and we have one just started. Our plan is to expand massively. Our product is being used in over 40 countries."

Fibre broadband is essential. "In order for me to expand the way we want in the next six months we need to have a full fibre service," Mr Coleman said.

"If rural communities have an ambition to attract real future jobs it's absolutely essential."

He believes remote working in tech hubs could provide a real solution to the housing crisis. "We have companies who can't get housing in Dublin," he said.

"You do need to go back to the broadband issue. In order to get this revolution going you need really good broadband in rural areas.

"We could be the premier country in Europe, if not the world, to advocate remote working because we have really good places for people to work from. And not only does it solve an industry issue but it will help solve the housing crisis.

"When I came back to Ireland and moved to Lahinch in 2003, I was working off dial-up internet, which is just impossible. It's come a long way for sure," he commented.

He added that next July the Irish Open will be held in Lahinch, so service providers would need to get moving and sort out full fibre broadband as quickly as possible.

Irish Independent

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