The Limerick metropolitan area gets a high speed internet connection.

A ceremony was held in Limerick to launch the switching on of forty two kilometers of the network providing high speed connectivity to businesses, public buildings, hospitals and schools.

The National Broadband Network is the high speed communications system which is being brought to twenty five key towns and cities throughout the country and costing seventy million euro.

The network is seen as a vital piece of communications equipment providing faster and cheaper access to the internet. The new broadband network will also enable businesses to compete internationally. 

According to Kevin Thompson, Chief Executive of Shannon Development,

If you want to have a world class region, you've got to have world class connectivity.

The rollout of broadband to areas of smaller populations throughout the country is due to begin in around three weeks. 

Minister for Communications Dermot Ahern outlines the plan to roll out broadband to towns and villages with a population of over 1,500. A further twenty five million euro will be set aside for areas of lower populations to be invested in broadband structure over a period of three years under the Group Broadband Scheme.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 June 2004. The reporter is Cathy Halloran.