Majority of farmers believe better broadband will aid environment


Over two-thirds of a recently polled farming community (67%), say that the introduction of high-speed broadband to their area will allow people to make more environmentally sustainable choices when buying goods or services.

That’s according to a new study launched by National Broadband Ireland (NBI), in partnership with Macra.

Demonstrating the potential for NBI’s high-speed fibre network to play a role with carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions, the study also found that nearly six in 10 (59%) thought that the introduction of high-speed broadband will help reduce carbon emissions.

The report also finds that over nine in 10 (93%) believe that high-speed broadband will improve their quality of life, while 85% stated that high-speed broadband will improve social opportunities.

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, the company delivering the government’s National Broadband Plan, commented: “NBI believes that broadband is a vital success factor for any farm or agri-business.

“And our experience has shown us that farms are readily connecting to our network, with the likes of Roscommon, Cavan and Mullingar deployment areas witnessing 35%+ take-up to date.

“What’s evident from the research is that farm families and agri-businesses also see that the availability of fibre broadband will improve their quality of life and improve opportunities.”

Helping the environment

Hendrick added that the really interesting finding from the survey is the potential that farmers and the sector see in the availability of high-speed broadband to play a role in reducing carbon emissions.

Mick Curran, CEO of Macra added: “Macra welcomes NBI’s research undertaken at the National Ploughing Championships, as there are strong positive messages surfacing – namely that 59% of farmers are currently using farming technology, while only a small minority of 16%, do not currently intend to use any farming technology.

“The research also highlights the belief of a large divide between urban and rural Ireland in respect of access to high-speed broadband.

“Macra also [knows] this to be true; the divide unfortunately exists, however, the efforts by NBI in bringing high-speed broadband to each and every home in the land are both heartening and welcome,” he added.

“The idea that no home is being left behind is important and we can already see the difference the National Broadband Plan is having in removing that divide.”

Rural areas

Macra has also said that it welcomes the capabilities that NBI’s rollout will bring to all rural dwellers.

The young farmers’ organisation said the rollout will afford them the opportunity to work in a location where they wish to live, as well as providing the necessary tools for Irish farmers who want to embrace technology to make their enterprises even more efficient.

The farming community research fieldwork was carried out by independent market intelligence company, Core Research, and was substantively completed at the Ploughing Championships 2022 held in Ratheniska, Co. Laois.

The study also gained insights from respondents via Macra’s biweekly e-zine to their membership.

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