Rural Northern Ireland to benefit from 7.3 million MB of free mobile broadband
A partnership between Three and Supporting Communities Northern Ireland (SCNI) will result in up to 7.3 million MB of free high-speed mobile broadband being given to rural citizens and businesses in Northern Ireland, enough data for over 75 million emails. The project is supported by Go On NI, part of NI Direct’s digital inclusion programme run by the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).
The project will see Three working with SCNI to identify those who could benefit from a year’s free connectivity, as well as setting up communal mobile broadband access in a number of communities. Every participant will receive a MiFi, which creates a wireless internet hotspot using Three’s mobile network and can connect up to ten devices to the Internet.
The first organisation to benefit from the project is Restore, a volunteer-run organisation based in Limavady. Its refurbished premises are used to support the community by providing youth services and a local venue for community activities. Restore will use the MiFis to offer those that pop in access to the Internet to look for jobs online as well as checking emails and social networking.
This marks the first time Three’s award-winning Rural Broadband Working Group has operated in Northern Ireland. All connections will use Three’s high-speed network, which recently benefitted from a £12 million upgrade across Northern Ireland, bringing faster internet speeds to 95% of the population.
Dave Dyson, Three’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Rural communities are often unable to access high-speed broadband, which can impact on people’s quality of life and business productivity. I hope the project will help address this issue for those taking part.
“This scheme underlines Three’s commitment to Northern Ireland and follows recent network investment and the Feel At Home price plan that addresses the issue of cross-border roaming.”
Simon Hamilton, Finance Minister, said: “This project is a valuable extension to the work already achieved by the Go On NI initiative in helping citizens communicate, shop, bank and access government information online and is a good reflection of DFP’s beneficial partnership with Three and SCNI.”
Brian Holmes of SCNI said: “Rural families and businesses are often unable to access high-speed internet in Northern Ireland, or experience the many benefits that the Internet has to offer, so it’s great to partner with a government department and an organisation which are both passionate about addressing this.
“The numerous educational, economic and social benefits the internet brings are vital for families.”
Notes to Editors
Three is a communications company focused on bringing the benefits of the internet to mobile. We offer attractive pricing, all-you-can eat data packages, market-leading devices and a network built for data. Combined, this gives our customers the widest choice of ways to stay connected to the mobile internet.
Our high speed, DC-HSDPA network already covers 80% of the UK population and we will be adding LTE 4G services to the network later this year. HSPA+ technology, covers 98% of the UK population.
We will add 4G to our network from December 2013, with 50 cities covered by the end of 2014 and 98% of the population covered by 4G by the end of 2015.
Today, we have over 13,400 sites in our network and plan to add another 5,000 by 2015 to bring improved mobile internet capacity to more people in more places than ever.
Three UK is a member of the HWL group of companies, with investments in mobile operations in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Vietnam.
To find out how we intelligently manage data traffic on our network, please visit www.three.co.uk/trafficsense
For more information on our new Pay-As-You-Go tariff, please visit: http://www.three.co.uk/Store/Pay_As_You_Go_Price_Plans
About Go On NI
Go On NI is an NI Direct programme, run by Enterprise Shared Services within the Department of Finance and Personnel. Go On NI is aimed at raising awareness, providing training, and holding events to increase internet usage across Northern Ireland. Media enquiries on Go On NI to DFP Press Office on 028 9081 6724.Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Office via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
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