LAOIS DIGITAL STRATEGY
Laois County Council prepared a Local Digital Strategy for County Laois for the period 2020-2024.
The Strategy sets out Laois County Councils ambition to meet the needs and aspirations of the people of County Laois in enabling them to benefit from Digital Technology and infrastructure throughout the County.
The Strategy was informed by a series of consultations with residents, businesses, nonprofit organisations and interested stakeholders within County Laois.
The resultant Laois Digital Strategy which was adopted by the Council in October 2020 is located here.
NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN
As part of the roll out of the National Broadband Plan, Laois County Council recently launched the Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) in 4 areas in rural Laois:
- Vicarstown Community Centre ,
- Emo “Old School” Community Centre
- Oisin House Rossmore, Killeshin
with Donaghmore workhouse and Agricultural Museum will be live in early January. It must be noted at present that it’s only an outdoor facility at all locations at present, we will update info when there is indoor availability.
What are Broadband Connection Points (BCPs)?
Broadband Connection Points (or BCPs) are public locations which have been selected to receive high-speed connectivity in the first year of the National Broadband Plan. The locations of the BCPs have been selected by the local authorities and include public areas such as community halls, libraries, sports facilities, enterprise hubs, tourist locations and other public spaces.
What can the BCPs be used for?
Each BCP will provide 150Mb high speed, high quality fibre broadband access to the local community. This will enable people living in the area to go to the selected location and access broadband for daily use including remote working, general access and even keeping in touch with family and friends abroad through video calling.
For further information on Broadband Connection Points please click here.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, said
“I want to congratulate Laois County Council on the launch of their Broadband Connection Points. These facilities will give people easy access to high speed broadband and will provide the option to work remotely. Remote Working, or Connected Working, as I like to call it is now a reality particularly in light of Covid-19. Connected Working will reduce commute times, provide increased custom for local businesses in rural towns, and will even attract people to move back to areas they grew up in. It has the potential to transform rural Ireland and to enable people to pursue good careers while continuing to live in rural areas. I believe Ireland can be a world leader in Remote/Connected Working and the development of BCPs such as this one is a crucial part in achieving that goal. “
Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D said:
“The Broadband Connection Point delivery project, a key part of the National Broadband Plan, has shown the value of collaboration between the Government of Ireland, local authorities and commercial operators in getting rural communities connected. I welcome the launch of the initiative in County Mayo and look forward to the completion of the remaining BCPs throughout Mayo and every county in Ireland”
Welcoming the launch of the initiative, Peter Hendrick, Chief Executive Officer at National Broadband Ireland, said:
“Broadband Connection Points offer rural communities essential access to free high-speed internet access and they pave the way for the wider rollout of the National Broadband Plan, which as a project of tremendous size and scale will deliver world-leading Fibre-to-the-Home broadband directly to 544,000 homes, farms and businesses. With today’s launch, we’re excited for communities to start realising the transformational benefits that high-speed connectivity can bring to so many aspects of people’s lives.”
Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone Ireland said: “Vodafone is proud to partner with Government on Connected Communities, providing best in class WiFi to rural communities across Ireland. Today, we are delighted to see the launch of Laois Connected Communities, which will bring high-speed connectivity to new locations in the county. Technology and connectivity has afforded us a sense of normality in truly abnormal times and has supported the dramatic and necessary shift to online in terms of how we live, work and interact. These Connected Communities will help rural Ireland embrace this digital society by giving opportunities for remote work, study, community and digital skills training and a host of other digitally enabled services. As they evolve and grow, Connected Communities will provide an opportunity to transform the economic and social fabric of rural towns and communities by addressing the digital divide, improving lives, creating jobs and stimulating rural economic growth”.
LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL LAUNCH WIFI4EU PROGRAMME
Laois County Council signed Contracts for the WIFI4EU project on Tuesday 28th September 2021 with NIS- Network and Infrastructure Support.
The rollout of the WIFI4EU project will commence now at the following locations – Portlaoise Town Centre , Portarlington Town Centre , Abbeyleix Main Street, Mountmellick Main Street and Clonaslee Main Street.
Survey works and consultation with communities and property owners (where necessary) will occur over the next few weeks and all locations are expected to be complete with Free Public Wifi by end of February 2022.
Laois County Council have partnered with the EU and DRCD in providing and rolling out the WIFI4EU programme.
The WiFi4EU initiative promotes free access to Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens in public spaces including parks, squares, public buildings, libraries, health centres and museums in municipalities throughout Europe. This project is also intended to increase the attractiveness of our public realm to visitors and residents of each of the towns and their localities and will work in tandem with the continuation of external seating areas for outdoor dining in many locations.
We look forward to working with our partners on this project and Network and Infrastructure Support, a Midlands based company.
We apologise in advance for any disruption that might occur during the course of the roll out. If you have any queries, contact can be made with the Broadband Officer – Ms Antoinette Brennan at Anbrennan@laoiscoco.ie