The first farm has been connected under the National Broadband Plan, with the new high-speed fibre network achieving minimum speeds of 500Mbps.
Tom Canning, who farms and runs his agricultural consultants business near Crossdoney, Co Cavan, is the first to be connected to the National Broadband Ireland (NBI) network.
Canning is also the president of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) and says he expects to benefit hugely from a high-speed fibre connection.
“The need for the farming community to be connected to a high-speed network is vital, as administration and the day-to-day running of a farm has moved online,” Canning said.
“For the purpose of my farm consultancy business, I also need a reliable network connection, so I can effectively operate my business from a rural base and I am already seeing the benefits from this connection.”
Under the National Broadband Plan, over 544,000 premises nationwide are included in the intervention area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.
Minister Eamon Ryan said: “Now, more than ever, we see how critical access to reliable, high-speed connectivity is to our lives.
“Today marks another major milestone in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan as we see one of the first farms connected.
“Reliable access to high speed broadband will help farmers as they use agricultural technology to maximise efficiencies, diversify into more sustainable forms of farming, produce energy and run their day-to-day business operations.”
As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification, Co Cavan itself will receive €65m of Government investment under the National Broadband Plan to address 16,242 premises.
Minister of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys said: “The National Broadband Plan is an investment in Ireland’s future prosperity.
“Its purpose is to close the digital divide and to provide a level playing field for businesses and communities, regardless of location.
“Agriculture is a crucial element of Ireland’s economy and farming families occupy a special place in their communities and within our shared culture.”