NATIONAL Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the new future-proofed, high-speed Fibre-to-the-Home network in the Republic under the National Broadband Plan on behalf of the Irish government, has announced that the first farm has been successfully connected near Crossdoney, County Cavan.
Tom Canning Agricultural Consultants Ltd is the first farm business to be connected to the NBI network by retail service provider Eurona Arden Broadband. As the president of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) and managing director of Canning Consultants, a farm consultancy business, Mr Canning says he “expects to benefit hugely from a high-speed fibre connection”.
A reliable, high-speed broadband connection has never been so important for Ireland’s farming community, as the agricultural sector has experienced an accelerated adoption of technological advances in recent years. Not only are essential business operations increasingly moving online, but farmers are utilising new technologies such as smart-farming devices to maximise production and realise significant efficiencies.
The Covid-19 pandemic also gave rise to the growing trend of virtual mart auctions, allowing farmers to trade livestock effectively online. As an industry with a heritage of innovation, farmers have embraced the benefits of technology to achieve cost savings, reduce administration and access information in order to improve livestock management; all making reliable, high-speed broadband essential to their future success.
Under the National Broadband Plan, over 544,000 premises nationwide are included in the Intervention Area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to identify areas where commercial operators are not currently providing access to high-speed broadband or do not intend to. The project sees NBI delivering minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second to farms, homes, businesses and schools.
Tom Canning said: “We are delighted to be the first farm business to be connected under the National Broadband Plan. The need for the farming community to be connected to a high-speed network is vital as administration and the day-to-day running of a farm has moved online.
“For the purpose of my farm consultancy business, I also need a reliable network connection so I can effectively operate business from a rural base and I am already seeing the benefits from this connection. From speaking with others in the farming community, the NBP will benefit them hugely.”