A KILNAMONA-based couple, who operate a tourism business, have to run it from a variety of cafés in Ennis, due to the lack of broadband where they live.
Henry Wilkinson has told The Clare Champion that they would not have moved to Kilnamona had they been aware that broadband access was an issue.
“Had we known back in December that there was no broadband in the area, we would not have taken a year’s lease. My fiancée and I recently moved to the area to be closer to her parents. We run our own tourism-based business and urgently need access to fast, reliable broadband,” Mr Wilkinson explained.
The absence of broadband has resulted in the couple having to work from Ennis.
“Over the past four months, we have been making daily trips to Ennis to sit in coffee shops and try and run our business, which is expensive and not ideal. Where do we go from here? Will broadband be made available next week, next month or next year? Somebody must have an answer and what do we do in the meantime?” he queried.
Mr Wilkinson is concerned that young couples, who cannot access broadband in rural areas, will be forced to live in towns as a result.
“As there is a phone line in the house and we live in the age of the computer, we presumed we could get broadband through the phone line. There can’t be too many young couples willing to live in rural Ireland these days. Will we have to join the other young couples and return to urban living, allowing another rural area to degenerate?” he asked before saying that satellite broadband is not an option.
“Satellite broadband is not an option. We have spoken to the neighbours who use it and they say it is unreliable and very expensive,” Mr Wilkinson pointed out.
by Peter O’Connell