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Doherty slams latest broadband setback

22 January, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Regional Development Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has slammed the latest set back in the delivery of broadband throughout the state. Speaking today as the Minister announced a deal that will deliver broadband coverage to every county in the state by September 2010 Senator Doherty said, "Minister Ryan had originally committed to delivering broadband throughout the state by the end of 2009. Shortly after that commitment he announced in the Dáil that it would be delivered in the first half of 2010 and that the contract would be signed before the end of 2008. Each commitment to date has been broken so I can have no confidence that this one will be lived up to. "In the plan to roll out broadband the Minister must take account of certain areas which the National Broadband Strategy (NBS) identifies as covered but which local authorities have discovered are not. "For example Leitrim County Council have carried out their own survey which has demonstrated that there is no broadband availability in certain areas outside towns despite being categorised as broadband connected areas under the NBS. The Survey found that 71% of the people surveyed had no access to broadband. "Based on the evidence of broadband black-spots identified by county councils, it is essential that the Department of Communications carries out independent inspections of areas which are claimed by broadband providers to be connected but which have been identified as black-spots by local authorities. The NBS Map should then be amended as a matter of priority to include areas which are shown to be without broadband." ENDS

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