Coolbawn Dutchman Offers Free Wifi at Obama’s Moneygall Visit

Free WiFi for Obamas Visit to Moneygall

Evert Bopp, a Dutchman living in Coolbawn North Tipperary, has offered to provide free wifi internet access in Moneygall during President Obama’s visit.

“I had been keeping an eye on any developments in this area for a while” said Bopp “and was wondering how the visitors and mostly the international press would get Internet access during Obama’s visit”.

Press reporting has moved to an online medium over the last few years and the huge increase of Twitter  and other online news sources makes access to a broadband internet service almost essential for news reporting.

Broadband is still a scarce resource outside the major urban centres in Ireland and while there is 2G & 3G mobile network coverage in some rural areas the use of this is still prohibitively expensive. Especially for visiting foreign media. To show that Ireland isn’t backwards either when it comes to technology and that we can actually organise services ourselves in spite of empty promises by the government I decided to offer to install the necessary equipment as well as manage the service at no cost.

I’ve spoken to a number of people involved in the planning of Obama’s visit as well as some people working in both North Tipperary and Offaly County Councils and put my offer to them but as this all moved too slowly I contacted the owner of Ollie Hayes’s pub in Moneygall and made the same offer to him. I was delighted that he immediately saw the benefit of providing this service and we are now working out the technical details and will be installing the equipment shortly. However I was surprised to read a few days after this was already arranged that Michael Lowry was calling for someone to offer this service. Mr. Lowry obviously was not aware that this was already arranged. “I didn’t want this to become another political issue where it would only be provided long enough for some politician to claim the glory. It is my intention to install this service and if possible leave it in place after President Obama’s visit”

Mr. Bopp has a extensive background in providing wireless internet access going back over a decade. He has recently been responsible for convincing Irish Rail to start trailing a wifi service on their trains and he is also the founder of Haiti Connect a charity which has been building wifi networks in Haiti as well as providing other IT services for Haitian schools, hospitals and clinics. He lives near Coolbawn in North Tipperary with his wife, who ran in the recent general elections, and their 5 children.

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