A map of the proposed broadband fibre lines in Piltown
A South Kilkenny community has taken connectivity matters into its own hands with a community-owned scheme to bring broadband to the area.
B4OC (Broadband for our Community) CLG aims to develop Piltown parish’s own top-standard, broadband fibre network. The group was formed by Piltown Community Enterprise in 2020.
Inspired by similar projects in the UK, B4OC believe access to reliable high-speed broadband is essential to attracting SMEs but the project is much more than that. The community gains not only by having access to faster broadband for families, schools and other community buildings.
Current broadband services in the area are not up to acceptable standards and vary greatly throughout the parish.
Brian Doyle is the chairperson of B4OC and he explained that company’s mission is to provide broadband to every home in Piltown/ Fiddown, on a not-for-profit basis.
The two villages are just two of approximately 20 similar-sized villages and towns in Kilkenny that will have sub-optimum broadband under the current National Broadband Plan proposals, Mr Doyle said.
B4OC believes this scheme would be the first such model in Ireland and it hopes to be a model for other communities in the future.
It was initiated on the suggestion Kilkenny Leader Partnership (KLP) and funded through the LEADER programme. KLP and its philanthropic funding partner, the Tomar Trust supplied technical assistance, planning, training and capital funding to the community to develop and advance the project.
The project has received significant loan capital from local businesses as well as attracting a match-funding contribution from a philanthropic trust.
Progress has been substantial in recent months. A project manager was appointed last December, and in spring ground was broken to commence cable installation in phase one.
Community engagement is high and the majority of residents are eager to connect.
For more information visit https://betterbroadbandforpiltown.com, find them on Facebook at betterbroadbandforpiltown or email info@betterbroad bandforpiltown.com.
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