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Bray’s Tara Care Centre Gets Broadband Boost So Residents Can Connect With Loved Ones

The Tara Care Centre in Bray is ensuring its elderly residents can connect virtually with family and friends despite Covid-19 restrictions after being connected by Viatel to SIRO’s Gigabit broadband network. The broadband upgrade is also a key part of the centre’s strategy to collaborate with the HSE as part of the ongoing vaccination programme and its general engagement with health authorities.

With a spike in broadband usage as a result of families video calling loved ones and more of the centre’s operations shifting online since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Tara Care Centre needed to quickly upgrade its connection. Viatel and SIRO quickly responded to the request, expediting the installation given the critical role the centre plays in the community.

While Covid-19 may have changed how families and friends can connect with loved ones, the Tara Care Centre has strived to guarantee their 47 residents’ experience is still as comfortable as possible, ensuring that they can connect to the outside world with video calls, access services from the nearby Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church online and celebrate special occasions. The SIRO network will enable residents to contact loved ones from the comfort of their own rooms, instead of needing to be reliant being nearby to a wifi router.

Access to the SIRO network is also crucial for the Tara Care Centre as part of their ongoing Covid-19 testing regime and participation in the vaccination programme given the volume of information that is submitted on an ongoing basis. The centre’s management can now instantly access and upload the necessary information in seconds to ensure the safety of residents and staff, with no risk of delayed communication from health authorities due to slow broadband speeds.

Using the existing ESB network, SIRO delivers fibre optic cables all the way to the building. This technology, known as Fibre-to-the-Building, has no copper connections at any point to slow down the network and delivers 1 Gigabit speeds. For context, downloading a high definition movie that is 4 gigabytes in size with a standard 10 Mbps connection would usually take an hour. In contrast, it takes 30 seconds with SIRO’s Gigabit broadband. So multiple simultaneous video calls by residents from the Tara Care Centre to family members is seamless because of the reliability of the SIRO network.

Commenting on the new connection, Director of the Tara Care Centre Paul Costello said: “SIRO has been nothing short of transformational in terms of how we and our residents connect with the outside world. It would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Viatel’s quick response and prioritising our connection which we are very grateful for. As a result, we can ensure that despite being apart, our residents can stay close to their loved ones by being able to connect with them at the touch of a button.”

SIRO CEO John Keaney added: “County Wicklow has been part of our national rollout, so we have seen first hand how much of a difference broadband connectivity makes to people’s lives, even more so since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. So when we got the call for assistance from the Tara Care Centre in terms of their need for better broadband to run their facility, we knew we had to make them a priority given that this is a time when not everyone can be at home with their family. Everyone has to do life differently at the moment, but at least we’ve been able to ensure that things like talking to a relative or being part of a church service is still a possibility.”

Damien McCann, Head of Sales and Marketing with Viatel acknowledges that while a rapid response is all part of a day’s work the Tara Care Centre was a very special project. “Many of our customers need to be connected as soon as possible – they might be waiting to open new premises or start production. We work with many healthcare clients and we are very familiar with the clinical side of their connectivity needs. Covid cast the Tara project in a whole other light- what could be more urgent than getting these residents time with their families? We were so glad to help out.”