CORK woman Emma Fitzpatrick has praised the successful trialing of Starlink satellite broadband which is currently being tested in her family's back garden in West Cork.
Emma and her neighbour Lesley Cox had earlier this year launched a petition to expedite the delivery of a rural broadband rollout programme and requested the immediate rollout of fibre broadband to their local community in Knockawaddra, which is located 7km from Clonakilty.
They claimed the poor broadband coverage in their area affected people’s ability to work from home, and children were unable to complete their homework.
Ms Fitzpatrick and Ms Cox were each provided with tech mogul Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband on a trial basis in recent weeks in a bid to combat their broadband issues.
Emma is delighted with the results to date.
“It is absolutely fantastic. It has been very effective. We are getting very steady speeds even on an overcast and rainy day. We are getting speeds of up to 100. The highest speed we have received so far was 200. Our upload is about 25 on average. This can go up to 60. It is really good,” she said.
Ms Fitzpatrick said the successful trial period has enabled her to resume working from home, while the family can now complete all their daily IT tasks with no delays.
“It has been brilliant. I have resumed giving my classes from home. We can go online now without any problems. The difference is night and day. It has been a total game-changer. Our campaign raised awareness.
"Hopefully, Starlink will be a viable option for everybody in time,” she added.
Starlink is believed to be currently trialing its product in a number of so-called “dead zone” areas nationwide.
The distinctive golf ball-shaped satellite dish was installed at the back of the Fitzpatrick family home, said Emma.
“They are trialing it with several people all over Ireland. It is a round satellite dish. It was installed at the back of our house and attached to our carport. It has an unobstructed view of the sky. The trial will be ongoing until it has been licensed. We can then sign up as customers.
"It will be a great option for people in rural Ireland,” she added.