Sunday 18 March 2018

Broadband on horizon

David Looby at New Ross Municipal District meeting

Work on laying cables for Virgin Broadband will begin in April, while free wi-fi is on the horizon across the district in public places.

District Manager Sinead Casey said: 'Construction will commence on the core route in town during the first week of April.'

Don Davern of Virgin Media recently told councillors that the company currently has 505,000 customers in Ireland, serving over 10,000 businesses. He said Virgin is expanding into New Ross and hopes to be in situ by the end of September, offering speeds of 360MB.

The company plans to commit to both residential and commercial customers in New Ross town. Mr Davern said that 'where possible we will use existing council underground resources where acceptable and appropriate for all'.

He said that any disruption which would occur would be clearly communicated with people in the area prior to the works commencing, adding that if the plans for New Ross progress he expects that the company will have spent €1.5 million in the town by the end of September 2017. Mr Davern also said that the fibre network is unlimited and can expand to carry whatever traffic necessary. He said Virgin is working with Aurora to carry their fibre optic cables from New Ross to Waterford.

Cllr Martin Murphy asked if the broadband will be extended to rural areas. 'Sure noone cares about us out in the sticks,' said Cllr Larry O'Brien. Cllr Michael Sheehan said he knows an internet company who are willing to provide free wi-fi in public areas in New Ross.

He complimented council staff on worknig on the initiative, adding that the company has provided free wi-fi in Wexford town. Cllr Sheehan said he has asked the company to include local villages in their plans. The announcement came as news to Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Whelan, who said: 'You have complimented the staff on working on this and they know nothing about it.'

Ms Casey said with Cllr Sheehan's connections through the economic development special policy committee, of which he is chairman, the company has been asked to look at the possibiity of providing free wi-fi in the district. 'They did look at that and they are coming back with a proposal,' Ms Casey said.

Cllr Willie Fitzharris asked if the council will have to pay for this service and was told they will not.

Cllr O'Brien said: 'Virgin Media are putting it in the town. We have another company going to give us free hi-fi,' before being hauled up by Cllr Sheehan who said: 'Hi-fi is from the Seventies!'

'I wouldn't know the term because we don't have it (wi-fi) out the country,' Cllr O'Brien said, before praising Cllr Sheehan for taking the initiaitve.

New Ross Standard