Commenting on today's figures from the Central Statistics Office on broadband connection, Senator Pearse Doherty has said that the latest CSO data only serves to highlight the continued failure of the Government broadband strategy.
Senator Doherty said, "The CSO figures shows that despite hundreds of millions of euro being spent on broadband, Government has failed to connect a huge number of Irish people and businesses. The latest attempt to provide broadband through the national broadband strategy is equally as flawed as every other Government project to date.
"In my report called 'Awakening the West: Social and economic Inequality' I made a number of recommendations to ensure that not only were all areas that remained unconnected included in the national broadband strategy but that broadband speed and application is enhanced.
"The National Broadband Strategy must be reviewed to include all those areas that have been identified as black spots by local authorities despite providers claiming that they are connected.
"Broadband speeds must be brought to at least 2megabits per second with a view to increasing this to a minimum of 5megabits per second by 2011.
"The report also recommends that the state provides financial support to pilot next generation broadband schemes in at least three towns in each of the ten western seaboard counties in which broadband infrastructure allows." ENDS