5 January 2020
By Mary Bermingham
The Broadband Connection Point for the rural village of Laharn (where Fine Gael Cllr John Paul O’Shea resides) is a step closer this week with the allocation of just over €2,000 in LEADER funding by the North Cork Local Action Group (LAG) through it’s implementing partner IRD Duhallow CLG.
The funding will assist in providing a work space at Laharn Heritage Centre for anyone wishing to avail of the Broadband Connection Point which is to be installed during 2020.
Welcoming the funding allocation, Local Councillor and Chairman of Laharn Community Action CLG John Paul O’Shea said “This funding is a very welcomed boost to Laharn so early in the New Year and we are really looking forward to seeing the new Broadband Connection Point being installed in Laharn Heritage Centre during the year.
“We saw this as an ideal opportunity to offer people in the locality a work space to avail of with high speed broadband at their disposal. Our current level of Broadband in the area is extremely poor and this will offer us an opportunity to provide a valuable service for locals to work and do business in our community now until we have access to high speed broadband which is being rolled out as part of the National Broadband Plan.
A contractual requirement of the National Broadband Plan, which has a construction programme of three to five years is that Broadband Connection Points are established at publicly accessible locations during the first year of the contract.
So, this means that people living in rural areas will be able to avail of internet connectivity at specific locations like Laharn Heritage Centre until such time as high-speed broadband will be available to their own premises. This relates to homes within the Amber intervention area of the National Broadband Plan. Close to 30% of County Cork is within the Amber intervention area, slightly higher than the national average.
Some of the locations approved for Broadband Connection Points in and around North Cork include:
- Aghabullogue Community Centre
- Aubane Community Centre
- Ballydaly Community Hall
- Courtbrack Community Centre
- Glash Community Centre
- Laharn Heritage Centre
- Whitechurch Community Centre
Cllr. O’Shea added “The delays with the National Broadband Plan have been well-documented. However, the contract is now signed and we can see the first developments commencing within the construction programme. It is important that there is something like Broadband Connection Points to cater to people’s needs in the interim period while the Plan is being rolled out,” added Cllr. O’Shea.
The North Cork Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) – a committee of Cork County Council is the LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) for North Cork. The group is managing the allocation of €5.6 million in LEADER funding across North Cork for the period 2016-2020. The programme is being rolled out by a consortium of the North Cork LAG and the three local development companies operating in the North Cork Council division, namely Avondhu Blackwater Partnership CLG, Ballyhoura Development CLG and IRD Duhallow CLG.
The LEADER Programme supports local and community projects across a diverse range of themes including; Rural tourism, enterprise development, rural towns, access to broadband, basic services targeted at hard-to-reach communities, rural youth, protection and sustainable use of water resources, protection and improvement of local biodiversity, and development of renewable energy.
More detailed information is available at http://leadernorthcork.com/
The programme is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.