TWO Rossmore businesswomen are finally enjoying high speed broadband at their homes – and all because they reached out to billionaire Elon Musk.
Emma Fitzpatrick and Lesley Cox from Knockawaddra – a broadband ‘deadzone’ – emailed Tesla founder Musk’s broadband internet company SpaceX last month, asking for help.
To their amazement, SpaceX replied and agreed to send the women their Starlink satellite system for a free trial.
They received their kits from SpaceX last Friday and, with the help of Peter Walsh of connectivity firm Openout in Dunmanway, they were able to set up the satellites at their homes this week.
Until now, neither woman was able to operate their businesses online and were often forced to go up a nearby hill even just to send an email.
‘We don’t know ourselves now that we have broadband,’ Emma told The Southern Star. ‘I was able to sit in my studio and do video work calls. It has allowed me to relax as I know I can work here now. Lesley is able to upload images to her website, something that took days usually.’ They thanked Peter Walsh for his help with the dishes and the wiring. ‘What’s amazing about the dish, too, is that it rotates 180 degrees to pick up the satellite link, and that’s the game changer really. Now we have downloads speeds of 74.7 mbps, which is way above what we had before,’ explained Emma.
She added that the campaign has been not just about broadband, but wellness, too.
‘It’s just great knowing that I can properly roll out my classes and consultations, and my daughters are thrilled they can access WhatsApp calls and we can finally watch Netflix again.’
While the two women say they are delighted and very grateful to have been chosen to trial the Starlink satellite, their campaign for fibre broadband in their community will continue.
‘It is still crucial that National Broadband Ireland (NBI) expedites the roll-out of fibre in our area and rural communities that are being failed by the government on access to decent broadband,’ said Lesley.
They have also contacted SpaceX to thank them and let them know of the successful trial. SpaceX hope to get the go-ahead for a more comprehensive roll-out of their service in Ireland.