Minister for Communications Alex White will turn the sod today on a new high-speed digital hub in Skibbereen, Co Cork.

The hub in the centre of the west Cork town will have 75 separate workspaces, and when it is up and running in November, it will have the fastest broadband connection in Ireland, provided by Vodafone. 

Vodafone CEO Ann O'Leary, Glen Dimplex CEO Sean O'Driscoll and Discovery Channel Europe President and Managing Director Dee Forbes are on the steering group. 

They all have strong ties to west Cork and have homes in the area.

It hoped that within five years there will be 500 new jobs as a result of the hub.

The centre is to be named the Ludgate Hub, after the Skibbereen native Percy Ludgate.

Born in the area in the 1880s, he is credited with developing the first portable computer.