Minister Hails Connected Cavan
Minister for Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys officially opened Cavan’s ten Connected Hubs during a visit to the county on Friday, 25th March.
Cavan County Council received funding of €225,000 in July 2021 under the Connected Hubs Scheme from the Department of Rural and Community Development to install broadband connection points (BCPs) and enhance remote working spaces to provide Connected Hubs which will benefit all members of the community.
The locations in Cavan of these Connected Hubs, which have been brought together under the ‘Connected Cavan’ banner, are:
These hubs have also benefitted from funding of €103,855 secured under Department of Rural and Community Development’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2020, Accelerated Measure in Response to COVID-19, with match funding of €11,540 provided by Cavan County Council. This funding enhanced these connected digital workspaces through the provision of smart IOT equipment, PV solar panels, electric car charging points, privacy booths, office furniture, Perspex screens and security systems.
Welcoming the Minister to Cavan, Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Councillor Clifford Kelly said, “I am delighted to be here with Minister Humphreys to launch these excellent community facilities”.
“For too long, we have seen rural communities suffer as local people are forced to look further afield for work opportunities. The past two years have shown that blended working can not only help with work-life balance, but can also increase productivity, and so these Connected Hubs can play a hugely important role in revitalising our towns and villages. I thank the Minister and her Department for their support and applaud the team in Cavan County Council and our energetic and engaged local communities for their efforts to bring these hubs to fruition,” said Cllr Kelly.
During her visit to the county, Minister Humphreys visited Connected Hubs in Templeport Community Centre and Gallonray House, Maudabawn, where she officially opened the Cavan network of Connected Hubs.
“I want to congratulate Cavan on the launch of their Connected Hub network as part of the Connected Communities Initiative. Connected Communities will unlock the potential in rural communities, transforming the lives of its residents," said Minister Humphreys.
“Whether that is connected working, the creative arts, eHealth or educational supports, the Connected Hubs will be supported to provide the services that their communities need.
“These premises are not merely a stop-gap measure ahead of the arrival of the National Broadband Plan, it is our hope that they will instead become long-term community assets, fixtures of their communities, providing next generation services to Ireland’s rural heartland,” said Minister Humphreys.
Chief Executive of Cavan County Council Mr Tommy Ryan said, “Both the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ policy and Cavan County Council’s own Digital Strategy 2021-2024 recognise the importance of empowering our rural communities to compete in the digital marketplace, and these Connected Hubs are an example of our commitment to develop and activate connected communities and support Cavan people to discover the value of using digital in their daily lives”.
“I want to thank our Broadband Officer Daniel Peeters, our IT staff, and the team in Community, Enterprise and Tourism for their efforts, and also to acknowledge our elected members for their ongoing support of our work,” added Mr Ryan.
Ossian Smyth TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and Circular Economy said “The National Broadband Plan is one of the most important and ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken by the State. Now, more than ever, we see how access to reliable, high-speed connectivity is critical to our lives. Over 3,600 homes and businesses in County Cavan can now place orders to receive access to a leading broadband service with minimum speeds of 500Mbps. All public Broadband Connection Points in Cavan are now live which is a significant achievement by all involved.”
Broadband Officer for Cavan County Council, Daniel Peeters said, “In our digital society, these Connected Hubs will become a focal point of our rural communities. With the support of people of all ages in the local community, the potential for these facilities and these towns and villages is limitless. Each hub is now part of the Connected Hubs network and I would encourage all hubs to make use of the shared learnings that can help make our vision of a Connected Cavan a reality.”
Peter Hendrick, CEO of National Broadband Ireland, said “National Broadband Ireland welcomes the launch of these new Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) in County Cavan, which will unlock a number of exciting opportunities for local people. BCPs are an essential element in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, as they provide a connected hub for people in local communities prior to the roll out of fibre broadband to their area. BCPs can provide a range of exciting applications, including remote working and keeping in touch with family and friends”.
Sinéad Bryan, Vodafone Ireland Business Director said: “The continued rollout of superfast WiFi to crucial facilities across Cavan will play an important role in supporting local communities to stay connected and live, work and play in their own area. We at Vodafone, alongside our key partners, are delighted to be facilitating a programme that will have such a significant impact on towns and villages across Ireland.”