The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and Donegal County Council have agreed funding for the construction of Metropolitan Area Networks (M.A.N.’s) in 6 Towns in County Donegal – including Ballyshannon.

Metropolitan Area Networks comprise fibre optic cable and ducting below ground through the major streets of each town along with the building of a co-location facility to house telecommunication equipment for suppliers of broadband telecommunication services. The project will comprise the installation of over 60km of network across the county.


These networks are considered by Donegal County Council to be of strategic importance to the county. When completed they will provide a publicly owned state of the art fibre optic system which can be used by private service providers to deliver broadband and advanced telecommunication services to residents, business and public bodies in the towns and surrounding areas.

The provision of better information and communications technology services has been shown to contribute to economic growth by allowing existing businesses to improve productivity as well as improving external investment opportunities. Many other benefits will also accrue from this technology including educational, medical, and leisure applications for the people of the county.

Broadband in Ballyshannon
Ballyshannon is a busy administrative centre and has a population of over 2300 people. It is the location for the IDA’s South West Donegal Business park along with a number of local small and medium enterprises.

The route of the network is along the one way system around the town with spurs on the Rosnowlagh Road, Bundoran Road and Beleek Road. The network also includes the newly constructed Bundoran – Ballyshannon bypass which greatly extends its reach to along the Donegal Town Road, Carrickboy and Cottonhill areas. The networks may be further enhanced by the provision of wireless network which will extend the reach of the network into the surrounding countryside. The overall route network is approximately 8km in length.  The works commenced on site in late August 2006 and are anticipated to be complete mid 2007

What is Broadband?
Broadband is an always-on Internet connection that gives you high-speed access and downloads for a flat rate monthly charge.

Everything works faster, from downloading emails and files (such as pictures & mp3's) or streaming movies and radio.
How do I connect to Broadband services?

There are different ways of accessing the Internet using a broadband connection. While many are familiar with using a connection via their existing telephone or cable-TV line, you can also have broadband access using other proven technologies including wireless-radio, satellite and power lines.

Are there advantages, speed aside, to using Broadband?
Broadband services are 'always-on'. This means that broadband is a permanent connection to the Internet. A broadband connection lets you access the Internet from the minute you switch on your computer.
There's no need to dial up to the Internet or log off once you've finished surfing.

Any other costs?
Once you have Broadband installed you simply pay a flat fee each month with no additional charges for the amount of time you spend online. Costs you should enquire about, depending on the service you choose:
• Once off installation Fee
• Possible download limit
• Possible Line Rental Fee

Benefits of Broadband
1. Instant access saves you time and hassle due to dialling up and logging on or from having to redial due to busy signals.
2. You’re always in touch with your email and messaging - friends, relatives, work mates, customers and suppliers are just a moment and a click away.
3. This transforms the experience of using the internet from a frustrating one to an enjoyable one. Surfing the net becomes a pleasure as even complex and graphics-rich sites download virtually instantly.
4. File transfers are fast.
5. You can download music and animations in seconds not minutes and video clips in minutes not hours.
6. Play interactive games at top speed against gamers around the globe.
7. Receive internet radio and other real time services without interruption.
8. Work from home with high-speed access to corporate networks.

Benefits of Using Broadband @ Home
1. You can move swiftly from website to website and page to page, all in a fraction of the time of a traditional dial-up connection.
2. Your email messages will download instantly
3. Because it’s a flat price, you know how much broadband will cost you each month
4. You’ll be able to talk on the telephone at the same time as surfing on the internet
5. You can access a wealth of entertainment and information resources, including video and music on demand, online game playing and the fast exchange of files (such as photographs) with friends and family.

Business Benefits of Using Broadband
1. Broadband can reduce your costs for fast always-on Internet access
2. Because it’s a flat rate price, you can predict your communications costs
3. Broadband improves your contact with your customers, by allowing you to respond to queries or orders more quickly
4. Employees will have a permanent connection to online services and continuous access to email
5. Employees can work from home with broadband seamlessly connecting them to the main office
6. Broadband can increase productivity by enabling the transfer of large data files directly from local offices to head offices located in other cities, or even other countries
7. Businesses can use high-capacity internet to track shipments and to seek out other export markets, enabling them to compete successfully with markets outside their local market.
8. Broadband allows businesses to conduct net-meetings or face-to-face meetings using videoconferencing to discuss urgent decisions, minimizing travel costs for in-person meetings.

Broadband Technologies

How is broadband delivered?
Broadband services can be delivered in different ways - over an ordinary telephone line, over a cable-TV connection, or wirelessly through the air via a satellite dish or aeriel.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) was originally designed for delivery of video content over "ordinary" phone lines. It’s now being adapted to deliver internet data at high speed.

The main benefit of this technology is that, in using existing phone twisted pair cable; there is minimal disruption (e.g. digging up the road) in routing to your house. Although it uses your existing phone cable, you can still make telephone calls whilst connected to the internet.

Cable uses a special type of modem that connects to a local cable TV line to provide a continuous connection to the internet. Like a dial-up modem, a cable modem is used to send and receive data, but the difference is that transfer speeds are much faster.

Cable Modem uses the Cable TV feed to your home and so is restricted to those areas that have a Cable TV

Fixed Wireless
Using an aerial on the roof, or wall, of your building rather than a fixed landline or telephone wire, fixed wireless broadband can connect a computer to the internet.

This is a specialised form of wireless communication, using a satellite dish as the aerial. Its main disadvantage is that there is a delay on sending the signal all the way into space and then back again. Despite this, satellite is the only broadband service available everywhere in Ireland.

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