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From Newgrange to the world: ancient rituals, newly connected

Live stream of winter solstice from Newgrange

On 21 December at about 8.58am, with the help of a clear sky and fine morning, a shaft of light will steal down a narrow stone passage into a Neolithic alcove buried deep in the heart of the Irish countryside. Just as they have done for over five thousand years, these creeping rays will mark the solstice; the first day of winter and the moment the Northern Hemisphere is at its farthest distance from the sun.

Live streaming of winter solstice

This year, the light from Newgrange will be beamed around the world via a live stream. Among those tuning in on Thursday morning will be the team at Ripplecom. The telecommunications firm worked with Magnet Networks to prepare Newgrange for this year’s online appearance.

Wi-Fi and data connection are not usually the biggest priorities on a national heritage site like Newgrange, particularly as the Brú na Boinne Visitor Centre itself located a distance from the monument. Given the particular location of the site and its protected status, some creative thinking was required to deliver a connection strong and reliable enough to support live streaming.

Meeting the challenge

Happily, challenging connections are where Ripplecom comes into its own. A team of in-house and field engineers means that the company has the agility, capability and flexibility to build and tailor connections that deliver exactly what is required. These days Ripplecom is largely urban-based, working with businesses whose challenges centre around multisite networks, guaranteed uptime, voice and security. However, Managing Director, John McDonnell, explains that it was the company’s history as a champion of rural connectivity that came to the fore on this particular project.

A decade of continuous investment means that, at the core of our operations, we have a radio network that reaches deep into those parts of Ireland where fibre is still a pipe dream. That reach is the reason we are able to connect over 500 primary schools through HEAnet and over 50 Glanbia sites nationally. It is how we connected sites like Munster Joinery’s offices in Lackanastooka, Ballydesmond and we are delighted it has now led to our involvement with Newgrange and the winter solstice.”

Where to watch the solstice

Ireland’s Ancient East will live stream from Newgrange on both 20 and 21 December from 8.30am each morning. They are counting down to the big days on their website: With everything in place, all that remains is for sun worshippers from across the globe- and the team at Ripplecom- to wait and hope for that clear sky and fine morning.

Connecting with Ripplecom

If Ripplecom can assist your business with connectivity, voice, security or back up please Lo Call 1890 747753, telephone 061 500250 or email

published on 18 December 2017