Limerick entrepreneur highlights ‘spotty’ rural broadband

A Californian businesswoman, who lives on a Limerick farm, has said that her enterprise is being hampered by uncertain and poor-quality broadband.

Cori Calvert is co-founder and chief executive of Glas Eireann Solutions which provides energy-saving solutions to various sectors – including agriculture – said that the situation makes running a business very difficult.

‘No options’

“We have an office in the National Technology Park in Castletroy, Limerick, but I typically work remotely. Most of that time that means working from client sites but more often it is from my home – which is on a dairy and beef cattle farm in Garryspillane, Co. Limerick.

“I’m lucky that I don’t have a tech-heavy business because it would be impossible to complete work,” she said.

Already the bandwidth needed for my service-based business emails and web use is spotty at best and I have a backup WiFi card to use in those instances. I’m the only web user in the house and I can’t imagine what would happen if/when more of the family needs internet access.

“Being new to Ireland – I am originally from California – I am just now learning what are the options to increase bandwidth and commonly I am being told that there are no options.

‘A shock’

“It’s been quite a shock since you would think that in such a modern country like Ireland that adequate bandwidth would be standard – especially in rural areas where getting to a cinema requires a 45-minute drive to town, and services like Netflix aren’t usable.”

Cori said that, while she can manage with the existing bandwidth and WiFi, she is concerned from an entrepreneurship viewpoint.

“In the future, the development of new technology companies will be essential to a healthy economy,” she added.

It will be a disadvantage if those in rural areas are forced to move to large cities just to provide the essentials to make their business survive.