eir, Ireland’s largest telecommunications provider, has announced that it has brought 5G ultrafast mobile coverage to one of the most remote locations in Ireland, Co Kerry’s breathtaking Black Valley – the last corner of the country to get rural electrification.
The announcement was made in the scenic Gap of Dunloe by eir as they were joined by local residents who are now enjoying high-speed broadband and crystal-clear mobile phone connections thanks to the latest leap forward in connectivity in the valley.
eir has the best 5G availability in Ireland and the extension of the network to the Black Valley community between Beaufort and Killarney brings eir’s 5G service now to 550 cities, towns and communities throughout Ireland – the equivalent of over 85% of the population.
Oliver Loomes, CEO of eir "We are proud to announce that eir has successfully connected the Black Valley in Kerry with 5G, marking a significant milestone on our journey to connect Ireland with future proofed technology. The Black Valley is significant as was one of the last places in Ireland to be connected to electricity and telephone networks due to its remote location. We believe that this delivery will empower the local community and drive innovation and growth in the region. We are proud to have played a role in connecting this beautiful valley in the heart of Killarney National Park, and we look forward to continuing to expand our network to benefit communities all across Ireland."
While the ESB began the rural electrification programme in 1946, electricity did not make its way to the Black Valley until 1977 when it is believed to have been the last corner of Ireland connected to the national power grid. Now, it is leap-frogging over much of the country in getting the fastest speeds and highest capacity mobile network available which also supports high-speed broadband.
The development is a boon to local business owners like Eilise Sullivan of Anam Valley Cottages who rents self-catering cottages to holiday-makers and facilitates arts and research residencies in this pristine, remote location, and can now promote her business and take online bookings with an assured, high quality broadband connection.
Eilise Sullivan of Anam Valley Cottages said “I am incredibly proud of my home in the Black Valley. I started this business because I wanted to be able to share these incredible landscapes with other people from around the world and I wanted to try to elevate the position and perceived value of rural communities. With eir 5G those things are now possible. I have struggled for years with a substandard service which has made it difficult to manage and progress all areas of the business. It is such a relief to know that I will never have to be in that position again. Basic services such as home broadband and mobile coverage are a necessity for anyone living in today's society and this new system means that our community won't be left behind. No other network provider has invested as much time, energy and resources to ensure that our community stays connected and I'm very grateful to eir, Kerry County Council and the Black Valley Community Group for all their hard work and dedication to the project. This new system is a gamechanger and I look forward to the opportunities it will bring to the community both now and in the future.”
Thousands of tourists who visit the area by bicycle, boat or pony and trap every year will now be able to livestream their experience on TikTok or update their Insta-stories from right there in the heart of this picture postcard location.
Kerry Mountain Rescue’s vital service will also benefit from reliable high-quality connectivity and not have to rely on ‘walkie-talkie’ coverage when they head off in search of a climber in distress in the area.
There are now more than 550 towns, villages and communities in Ireland connected to eir’s 5G network. The Black Valley community has become the 15th district in Kerry to be connected at an investment cost of more than €600,000 for the Black Valley alone, roughly 20% of the total investment on 5G in Kerry to date.
The four masts used to bring the coverage to the area have simply replaced legacy fixed network infrastructure with each mast measuring only 12m in height to fit with the aesthetics of Black Valley. eir has developed the sites to bring mobile service across all technologies (2G, 3G, 4G and 5G) to black Valley.