Junior Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash launched the Louth Economic Forum Broadband Action Plan at Ardee business Park Ardee last Friday.
This is the first county in the country to produce a county-broadband strategy in response to the National Broadband Plan. The Louth Economic Forum's strategy runs until 2020 and aims to build on the significant progress achieved in recent years in broadband across the county, and in particular in facilitating access to rural areas that currently have little or no broadband.
To promote these improvements, Louth County Council has adopted a pro-business, approach, which recognises that communities should also benefit from high speed broadband availability.
The Action Plan involves business, broadband providers and Louth County Council working together to achieve this. It is based on a partnership approach to identify barriers to fast broadband, and to identify solutions to those barriers so that businesses, and communities, can access high-speed broadband. Actions outlined in the plan include putting in place user-friendly procedures for companies investing in new broadband infrastructure and encouraging a similar approach from other regulatory agencies operating in the county, as well as identifying business broadband blackspots in the county for remediation.
“ The availability of high speed broadband is vital in attracting new business, both international and indigenous, in job creation and economic prosperity,” Minister Nash said.
“Broadband is a deciding factor when businesses are choosing where to locate and it’s one that Louth can influence, through the implementation of this plan.”
Louth County Council Joan Martin said Louth is the third best broadband-enabled county in Ireland, behind Dublin and Kildare. It is envisaged that approximately 50,700 of the 60,000 premises in the county will have high speed broadband connectivity by the end of this year.
Cllr Dolores Minogue said was fitting that we’re launching this plan in Ardee today as it is a ‘poster child’ for high speed broadband, as it is one of the country’s ‘fibre towns’.
Chairman of Louth County Council’s Economic and Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Mark Deary said a reliable and fast internet connection is critical to business growth and development and is essential to modern business practice.
“I am very proud that Louth is leading the way with the publication of the first county broadband action plan in Ireland,” Cllr Dearey said.