In 2006 I was invited to attend a press conference at Galway County Buildings held by the then Minister for Communications, Noel Dempsey T.D. whose department was announcing that Clifden, as part of a national rollout of MANs (metropolitan area networks) —which are high-speed fibre optic networks —was going to be included among a range of small rural towns.

This was a huge boost to the technological infrastructure of Clifden at the time, and promised to future-proof the town with high-speed connectivity on land-based, wireless and mobile connectivity. The MANs network was installed and a small data-center was established outside the town.

However, this was only the first step.

The next step was to attract a “carrier” i.e. Vodafone, UPC, Imagine etc., to make use of the infrastructure and provide high-speed connections to the end user (higher than standard DSL speeds that we now experience), a step that has alluded us until now.

I’m delighted to announce that E|net, the company enlisted by the state to provide this fibre optic infrastructure, has confirmed with me that the Clifden MANs network will be “lit-up” in the next coming weeks.

To be clear, appointed by the state, E|net’s role in this is as an infrastructure provider, and they are not a carrier where you can buy a high-speed connection directly from.

Speaking to Niall Beirne of E|net today, he was quick to stress that this is only the beginning, and that now, the onus is on us, as a business community, to come together and lobby one or more of these carriers to provide high-speed connectivity services to Clifden.

In the next coming weeks the network will be lit up, and next month E|net are planning an official press event, together with some info talks to help businesses gain an understanding for what this will mean for the town.

As a designer and web developer, I heartily welcome this great news. For a long time we have been waiting for this day to arrive. I would urge all businesses to attend any of the meetings setup by E|net and support the drive to get one or more of these carriers to provide connectivity services in the town.

What this will mean for your business is higher speed connections, improved 3G services and future proofing for the next wave of mobile technology, 4G and LTE. We have a long way to go, but a great foundation stone has been laid.

We’re delighted by this news and look forward to helping our clients gain a better understanding for what this will mean for their business and the community as a whole.

If you have any questions on this please feel free to contact me.
Visit this link to find out more about MANs. http://www.enet.ie/man-towns.html

Best regards, Noel Mannion.
email: noel@connemarapublications.ie
Designer and Web Developer
Connemara Publications