Skift Take

A vast, sprawling network of connected hubs are slowly but surely being built across Ireland’s rural regions. All it needs now are remote workers.

Series: Future of Work

Future of Work

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When they say remote work, they mean it. Ireland's government is spending $300,000 in Galway to set up high-speed internet across the region, including its offshore islands. But adding these so-called Broadband Connection Points is just one small part of an ambitious five-year government project called Our Rural Future that wants to get the infrastructure in place to make remote work a reality. The government last week announced it was investing $10.4 million in 117 remote working projects as part of its National Hub Network scheme — which includes Galway and a host of other regions.

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The media mostly picked up how idyllic pubs could be transformed into workplaces when the government published the policy in March. There’s clearly more to it than that. Projects will receive grants ranging from $12,000 to almost $300,000, with cash spent on aspects like building refits, privacy booths, control and security systems and modular offices, as well as upgrading audio, visual, networking and conferencing facilities up and down the country. However, infrastructure is just the beginning of the journey. Growing the Network The first phase is focused on building a network of these workplace hubs, and internet points, to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure in every region across Ireland. The goal was to have 400 hubs in place, but a government spokesperson told Skift it's already exceeded that target, with 408 currently mapped out. [caption id="attachment_437552" align="alignright" width="300"] Minister Heather Humphreys (left) promotes Connected Hubs in Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland. Picture: Julien Behal Photography[/caption] “Our Rural Future recognizes hubs as ideal locations for people to work remotely, as well as acting as key econ