Students flock to church car park in county Cork to use wifi

Students flock to church car park in county Cork to use wifi

SOME county Cork students carried out their online exams in a church car park in Bandon as they did not have internet with the capacity to complete them at home, it has been said by a County Councillor.

The issue of broadband in county Cork has been brought to the fore by Fianna Fáil Councillor Gillian Coughlan who is asking for short term and medium-term measures for broadband to be looked at by the Government ahead of the 25-year National Broadband Plan.

Ms Coughlan outlined that there are over 78,000 homes and businesses in the amber broadband zone, which means providers have indicated it is not commercially viable to bring internet to the area.

This is 14.64% of the entire National Broadband Plan, twice as much any other county, with Galway next in line at 7%.

Ms Coughlan said since the Covid-19 lockdown with many working from home, the church car park in Bandon has been half full with families doing homework and professionals working on devices and tablets.

The councillor said it was a regular occurrence.

“€345m has been committed to Cork over 25 years. They will be a long time in the car park in Bandon by the time that broadband is ready.

“Internet is as necessary as water now, for farms, businesses and families, for everybody for connectivity. This is really really urgent. We need to take action on it.” 

Ms Coughlan asked for a report to be compiled and a deputation sent to the incoming Minister in order to look at interim measures.

County Hall chief executive Tim Lucey said it would be best to bring a detailed update to councillors at the next development meeting held in July to assess the situation.

“I think it best to give members a briefing on our detailed understanding of where we are at this moment in time and members can decide what to do thereafter.”

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