The story of Ireland’s stunning transformation from a rural nation to a global communications hub.Like most of the world today, Ireland is abuzz with telecommunications. The country’s software industry includes nine of the world’s top ten tech firms and generates 50 billion in annual exports. Yet it was only a few decades ago that Ireland was a largely agrarian nation with a two-year waiting list to get a landline phone installed. Connecting a Nation tells the story of Ireland’s telecommunications boom--a story not just of cables and SIM cards but of the pivotal role telecommunications has played in the development of the country over the last two centuries. Deryck Fay--a longtime telecom industry worker--shows how Irish telecommunications is intimately bound up with politics, economics, and geography, illustrating these interconnections by drawing on a range of historical personal stories. Fay brings to life the first day of work for an operator at Dublin’s new telephone exchange in 1881, the painful process of getting a phone installed in the 1970s, and the story of how an airline website created by two students ignited the digital revolution in Ireland. In providing a direct line between the past to the present, Connecting a Nation offers an insider’s perspective on how the telecommunications decisions of the past continue to shape the lives of the Irish, both individually and nationally, while pointing the way towards an ever-connected future.