House hunters in Donegal will always have a list of prerequisites for their ideal new home.
You’ll take into consideration the size of the house, location, distance of travel from work to school etc.
But over recent years and in this ever digitally dependent world of wi-fi, tablets and streaming, broadband provision is becoming an increasingly essential consideration for home buyers.
In November of last year Switcher.ie published a county-by-county comparison of broadband speeds across Ireland.
Amid some stark regional disparities, Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, warned of the “real impact on quality of life for people in areas with sluggish speeds” and said it (broadband speed) “can have an impact on house prices, education and local business, too”.
Across the Irish sea, a 2016 UK study by Broadband Genie revealed 78% of respondents would be put off renting or buying a property with slow broadband and 28% would be willing to pay more for a home with fast internet.
It may be safe to assume that those findings would be reflected in Ireland.
Of course there are some to whom connectivity might seem an irrelevance.
But increasingly broadband is being seen as a vital part of modern life, a utility like gas or electricity – not least to anyone looking to work from home in the idyllic surrounds of Donegal and wanting that connection to the four corners of the globe.
Historically, broadband speeds and coverage have not been great in Donegal, as with in most predominantly rural areas of the country.
So this week’s announcement that the county is to benefit from Ireland’s biggest roll out of superfast broadband is a huge plus.
Almost 15,000 Donegal homes are to receive 1Gbps fibre broadband over the next 12 months.
“Here in Donegal the aim is to connect every single home to broadband and this is being rolled out over the next few months,” Minister Joe McHugh announced.
“Homes and businesses which once had poor broadband connection or no connection at all will have speeds not even available to people in our cities,” he said.
In Letterkenny 760 premises will benefit from the initial roll out.
For anyone interested in checking broadband speeds and available packages on a town by town basis there are a number of online tools, including this one, that will allow you to check available speeds in Letterkenny and well beyond.