Before the purchase we thought checking email on our phones occasionally would be sufficient given we wanted the full remote countryside experience, but in practice the mobile phone reception was terrible.
We could only get data on our phones occasionally and it required you to stand in the cold and mud outside holding the phone in the air.
Add to that the fact that so much research was required to find tradespeople, products and cottage information, which meant proper internet access was just essential.
We were told that a previous owner went to great lengths getting a telephone line to the cottage which involved erecting telephone poles across the fields of the adjacent farm, only to find that the distance from the exchange was too far to provide any kind of decent service.
Thankfully airwire.ie came to the rescue, a wireless based service started by locals to provide Internet to remote locations. They installed an antenna on the apex of the cottage which delivers a 2mb connection for €30 a month:
I wish all internet providers were like this. Getting internet installed in London can require weeks of waiting and 6 hour time slots with a no-show. Not airwire – “I’m only going to be around for one day, could you install my internet on Friday at 3pm?” I asked, “No problem” the friendly gentleman said, and so by 3.30pm that day we were connected.
It’s not the fastest connection (2mb) but is symmetrical which means the upload speeds are the same as download, which is rare. It works reliably and you can watch RTE, YouTube and Netflix…and yes, e-mail indoors – result!