Community come together and finally eliminate their ‘Digital Divide’

Community come together and finally eliminate their ‘Digital Divide’

29 October 2014

The residents of Killavullen, Co Cork found themselves in a situation typical of rural areas all over Ireland, suffering the effects of extremely poor broadband in their area for years. This month however, they have finally been launched into the 21st century with the help Cork based company ‘Nova Broadband’.

Through years of neglect, the local fixed-line broadband infrastructure in Killavullen, like many rural areas, is in a poor state of disrepair and over-congestion. It is not fit for purpose when it comes to the needs of the modern internet user and as a result the residents of the community have been left in a situation where they cannot access or connect online like their city-dwelling neighbours. Locals have campaigned to get the problem rectified in the past and have exhausted all avenues but to no avail.

Jason Roche, a resident of Killavullen purchased an X-Box and new wide screen TV last Christmas for online gaming which essentially became unusable due to the condition of the fixed-line broadband. Up until this month the new products have sat unused in the corner of his bedroom. Speaking about his struggle and the efforts the community has gone to date to solve the problem he stated “We have been fighting to try and get this problem fixed for years, we confronted the internet providers about the problem, set up a Facebook campaign and lobbied local TDs who attended meetings and said they would look into the problem, however nothing ever happened. As a result we have been forced to suffer on, unable to use all of the great services offered by the internet, such as emailing, working from home, Skype, online shopping, online gaming, Netflix etc. it’s just not fair or good enough.”

The community eventually decided enough was enough and took the situation into their own hands as they became so fed up with this lack of service and lack of help they were receiving.

Denis Collins, CEO of Smarter Dynamics, a resident of the village approached Dave Mc Donald, MD of Nova Broadband to ask if anything could be done. Dave founded Nova Broadband 10 years ago and has been involved in rolling out Nova's advanced fixed-wireless infrastructure to many areas of North Cork and advised this would solve Killavullen’s broadband problem. Dave explains “Fixed wireless is a method of bringing good quality broadband service to areas that are underserved, completely bypassing the old phone line network, using the airwaves instead. It is not like mobile broadband, in that a small dish is professionally installed at a customer's house or business. This means that the service is consistent and does not vary from day to day like mobile broadband. It provides broadband of equal or better quality than fixed line services and so is ideal for a place like Killavullen.”

This month the Nova Broadband Killavullen project was declared ‘live’ and the years-old problem has now finally been solved with minimum hassle or disruption. Denis Collins confirms the importance of this project in Killavullen and in other areas like it "We must enable all areas, rural and city, for best practices broadband platforms. I’m delighted to see ‘it@cork European Tech Cluster’ industry leaders like Nova broadband offering much needed broadband solutions for our rural communities"

As part of the project, Nova Broadband also offered to give the community one location free broadband and the community voted for community centre to avail of this. Marion Regan from the Killavullen community council says, “Killavullen Community Council are delighted to have been chosen for the Nova Broadband connection. This will further enhance the facilities available to the community in the refurbished community centre. It means that a wide range of day/night classes can now be held with full Internet connections. It also means that we can offer full meeting room services.”

To learn more about how communities can work together with Nova Broadband to bring broadband to rural communities visit