3 has reached a significant milestone in the rollout of much-needed broadband in County Carlow with 66% of National Broadband Scheme electoral districts in the county now covered with this leading-edge technology. It is unlikely that these districts would ever have received broadband or quality broadband were it not for the National Broadband Scheme and its rollout by 3.

3, Ireland’s fastest growing mobile and broadband network, is currently rolling out this much needed service to rural areas in the county which is now an essential part of the competitiveness of rural economies. The lack of Broadband is seriously affecting rural businesses and the rural economy and mobile Broadband is deemed to be the best and most cost effective way to deliver 100% coverage to rural areas. Broadband is playing an increasingly important role in how economies and societies operate. It is a very important business tool as it connects businesses to each other, both within the host county of the business and externally. From a societal point of view Broadband facilitates better communication, particularly in rural areas.

Homes and Businesses all across the county can now avail of 3’s broadband offering which provides a minimum download speed at launch of 1.2Mbps* and is operating on world leading broadband technology. The product offering by 3 through the National Broadband Scheme costs just €19.99 per month for 15GB, with a once off connection fee of €49.

Alternatively, those who are interested in getting ‘connected’ can contact 3’s dedicated information team on 1800 944 791 to order the broadband products which will be delivered straight to their door.  For this phase of the roll-out a significant part of the NBS coverage areas in the county, now have access to high-speed and high-capacity broadband services.

This connectivity will enable businesses in the rural NBS coverage areas in Carlow to make the most of high speed internet, email and additional services opening up local and global markets and potentially improving efficiencies and revenues.

Home users will have access to high-speed and high-capacity wireless broadband, with enhanced voice, data and multimedia services, where they can do everything they always wanted to do on the internet, whether it’s downloading music, surfing the web, checking emails, booking flights online, renewing their car tax or making free Skype calls abroad.

Damien Gallagher National Broadband Scheme Project Director at 3 commented: “3 is delighted to announce that we are rapidly deploying rollout of badly needed broadband services in County Carlow under the National Broadband Scheme. 3 will be ensuring that consumers and businesses have access to the highest quality broadband services and an enhanced customer experience.

Looking ahead, 3 will continue to play an active role in facilitating rural development and sustaining our regional economies, through the roll out of the Scheme, with all NBS coverage areas in Carlow to have full network coverage by October 2010.”

Emphasising the importance of broadband services for the region, Gallagher continued, “It has never been a more important time for people and businesses on this island to be connected, as we strive to remain competitive during tough economic times. 3 has played a leading role in driving the delivery of broadband services in Ireland, and we look forward to strengthening our market-leading position through our innovative services and the best value for customers”.

3 was awarded the National Broadband Scheme contract to provide access to affordable, scalable broadband services to rural areas, many of which do not currently have any broadband service. The National Broadband Scheme sees an estimated €223m in investment by 3 of which a maximum of €79.8m will be contributed by the Government and EU.

As part of the National Broadband Scheme roll-out, 3 is deploying world-class wireless technology which combines the very best of fixed line broadband connectivity with the flexibility of a mobile device. Nokia Siemens Networks powers 3’s mobile broadband services using the most advanced wireless technologies available in the world today.

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