Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Phil Flanagan has said that any increase in telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate the G8 summit in Fermanagh in June must be permanent and not simply temporary to benefit the 'great and the good of world powers'.
Speaking in the Assembly today following a statement on
telecommunications by Minister Arlene Foster, Mr Flanagan, who is also
the Deputy Chair of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee,
"With regards to the much heralded legacy that is predicted to
materialise as a result of the G8 summit taking place in Fermanagh this
June, I would be very sceptical as to the long-lasting benefits that
this event will have on those in our rural communities.
"Not a single planning application has been submitted for further
investment in telecommunications infrastructure as a result of the G8
summit; such a move would be required at this stage if permanent
improvements were to be made in time for June.
"Additional investment in mobile phone and broadband coverage needs to
take place in a sustainable and permanent manner and not simply a
temporary measure to facilitate the great and the good of world powers
and their respective entourages.
"Anything else will be seen as a slap in the face for local people who
suffer from inadequate telecommunications infrastructure on a daily
basis, while those who can have some influence in these areas cannot
cope for two days without coverage.
"If the people of areas like Boho and Derrygonelly can survive everyday, then why can these people not do the same?"