Mast sought to improve Annagh internet coverage

A new mast is planned in a bid to improve internet coverage in the Butlersbridge area.

Eir has applied for planning permission for the 18-metre high structure in the Kilnalack area between Butlersbridge and Belturbet, close to Annagh Lake alongside the N3 road. In its submission to Cavan County Council, the company says the site was chosen due to the higher terrain and the close proximity of a number of large trees, saying both would aid in screening the mast.

Eir says the structure, if approved, would allow for an increase in its 3G and 4G internet capabilities in the area to cater for increased demand from customers. It says it expects an increase in the “e-working, tele-working and home based economy, as we move from Covid to ‘hybrid working”.

The mast structure itself would cap out at 18 metres tall, which the company says is the minimum height to clear the surrounding landscape and treeline. It would host three 25-metre long antennas, three low-band remote radio units and a 600mm dish. Eir says the structure will have capacity to host up to two more operators.

The company says the mast “has the potential to reduce the total number of masts in the immediate area from two or three to a single structure in which to support two or three separate operators”.

Four separate sites were examined in the area as part of planning work, prior to the chosen site being selected. A lack of access and the low elevation of other sites saw them ruled out.

A radio emissions statement and construction management plan were also submitted with the application.

Included in Eir’s application are associated equipment, along with ground-based equipment cabinets, an access track, fencing and associated site development works for wireless data and broadband services.

Cavan County Council is expected to make a decision on the project by April 25.