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Rossmore woman goes to ‘top of hill’ to send an email

May 4th, 2021 10:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Pictured after logging onto the internet at the stone circle at Knockawaddra (Hill of the dog) in the hills overlooking Clonakilty Co Cork was artist Lesley Cox sending emails with her neighbour Emma Fitzpatrick of Nourishing Therapies Picture Denis Boyle

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POOR broadband, or even the complete lack of it, in their area is stunting the businesses of two Rossmore women, despite fibre broadband having being installed just 1km from their homes.

Emma Fitzpatrick, who runs Nourishing Therapies from her home at Knockawaddra and Lesley Cox, who sells her own art online, have called for the fast-tracking of the roll out of fibre broadband in their area.

They have also started a petition to highlight the situation and have so far collected almost 60 signatures.

Emma – who even contacted Tesla boss Elon Musk to highlight their frustrations –  said she has had to put her business on hold for the past six weeks as she cannot get a broadband provider to service them as their home is in a blackspot.

‘It’s got so bad now that it’s either sink or swim. It was either pack it all in and move, or do something about it,’ said Emma. ‘It’s been so frustrating. Sometimes I’m forced to go up to the top of hill near me so that I can send an email.

‘We feel we have been abandoned and my mental health is suffering with the ongoing stress involved.’

Next door neighbour, Lesley Cox said it’s next to impossible for her to upload photos of her art work onto her website.

‘Most of the time I have to go to a friend’s house to upload a photo which is ridiculous, or go to Clonakilty to use my 4G on my phone. Even with Zoom calls I can’t leave the camera on, and have to talk to people via chat,’ said Lesley, who fears she is losing customers because of it.

‘The fact that the fibre stops 1km away is just so maddening and NBI (National Broadband Ireland) won’t give us a timeline as to when we will get connected. It’s so close but yet so far.’ The pair have also moved their petition online to change.org.

Last summer, Gaggin residents who had to work from a church carpark due to slow broadband speeds, were thrown a lifeline with the erection of a  4G mast.

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