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Lack of broadband hampering small enterprises in Donegal – Doherty

12 December, 2007


Speaking in the Seanad this afternoon Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty said he personally knows of three people who have wanted to set up small enterprises in Donegal but have been hampered because of the unavailability broadband access. Senator Doherty said there is a digital divide between Dublin and the North and West with border counties in particular suffering from lack of broadband access.

He said, "Broadband access is now as vital as running water and electricity for any enterprise to survive. The Census of 2006 shows that there is a digital divide between Dublin and the North and West, and that the Border Counties in particular are suffering from lack of broadband access.

"Ireland currently lies 22nd in the list of 30 OECD countries on broadband penetration. Coupled with the fact that the quality of broadband in Ireland is severely low when compared to other countries this is having a devastating effect on economic development and the development of small and medium enterprises.

"I personally know of three people in my own county who have wanted to establish small enterprises in Donegal but have been hampered due to the lack of broadband access. This is particularly devastating for my county which has suffered from job losses due to the withdrawal of Foreign Direct Investment.

"Affordable high speed and available broadband is essential to the survival and development of industry throughout the state and I am calling on the Government to fast-track the delivery of broadband to each and every county in the state." ENDS

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