Three Ireland connects Arranmore

Three Ireland launches partnership with Arranmore to install state of the art technology

Connectivity to provide societal and economic opportunities to secure the future of the island

16th April 2019 – Today, Three Ireland is launching its partnership with Arranmore, an island five kilometres off the coast of Donegal, to create a more connected island, enabling societal and economic development. This partnership with Three will help the local community to create business and employment opportunities, enabling them to sustain and progress island life.

Until now, the lack of connectivity has made working remotely from the island almost impossible and restricted the ability to establish a business, or for existing businesses on the island to grow. The Arranmore community of 469 people is progressive and vibrant but faces the same challenges in maintaining its population as we see across Ireland’s islands. 22%* of the population are currently employed compared to 17%* who are unemployed or looking for their first job and 29%* are retired, with the remaining population in education, unable to work or caring for others.

The community sees connectivity as a lifeline to sustain their unique culture and way of life, and Three has partnered with the Arranmore Business Council to help deliver this. A Digital Hub has been established by the Arranmore Business Council with the support of Donegal County Council, to facilitate effective remote working. Three has provided superfast connectivity and bandwidth to the hub, as well as fitting out the interior and installing the latest hardware. Accommodating 13 desks, the digital hub now provides locals and visitors with a state-of-the-art work environment and conferencing facilities.

Three Business broadband+, Three’s broadband solution, has been installed in a number of local business and community facilities, including in Scoil Athphoirt where students can now use interactive whiteboards, research online and participate in online learning. The broadband solution has also been installed in the medical centre which will facilitate telemedicinal applications including video consultations with consultants on the mainland, saving patients a four-hour round trip to Letterkenny or overnight trip to Dublin.

Speaking about the partnership, Eóin MacManus, Business and Enterprise Director at Three Ireland said “Last year we became aware of the great work being done by the Arranmore Business Council to improve connectivity on the island and, looking at the portfolio of services that we provide to thousands of businesses in Ireland, we identified a number of ways that we could help. We approached the island as we would any enterprise customer and worked in partnership with them to identify the best solution.

“As Ireland’s leading data network, we know how connectivity can transform lives and businesses, and we are delighted to bring this connectivity to Arranmore. Todays launch marks the start of a long-term partnership as we work with the people of Arranmore to help deliver their ambitious plans for the island which will enable them to sustain and develop their community.”

Speaking about the partnership, Adrian Begley of Arranmore Business Council said ” MODAM, Irelands first offshore digital hub, came about as part of the effort by Arranmore Island Community Council to encourage its diaspora to consider making Arranmore home once more. In the process of making that connectivity happen, we were approached by Three, who not only helped us with the hub, but also improved internet connectivity across the island, which is fantastic for the entire community.”

“It’s been great working with the Three team and we believe this partnership will go a long way in helping to future proof Arranmore and will make the island sustainable for the next generation.” added Seamus Bonner, Arranmore Business Council.

As one of the businesses that will benefit from the partnership Neil Gallagher, CEO and Founder of educational tech company Caped Koala said: “”It has always been my ambition to move back to Arranmore from London. I loved growing up there and would love to work there, but until now that just wasn’t an option. Now with connectivity I plan to spend more time working on the island from the Digital Hub. Like many other islanders, I’ve always wanted to add value to my community and this connectivity by Three will allow me to create opportunities and bring employment, by training people on the island to test software and take active roles in EU research projects. Beyond this, I hope to set up time-specific project teams on the island taking advantage of both the facilities, island life and the cost benefits.”

This is a long-term partnership and Three is also working on further technology solutions with other businesses and industries on the island which will be deployed over the coming months.