Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin anger at decision not to locate Trans-Atlantic Cable Landing Site (Telehouse) in Derry

29 January, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) is urging all political representatives in the North West to unite behind a bid to site a planned new state-of-the-art telecommunications service facility in Derry. Ms Anderson seeking an urgent meeting with the Enterprise Minister, arlene Foster after Derry city was overlooked as the preferred location for a new state-of-the-art telehouse centre to service the Trans-Atlantic fibre optic telecommunications cable that it has been announced will come ashore at Portrush.

Martina Anderson said:

When first announced by Irish Communications Minister, Eamon Ryan, Derry had been earmarked as the location for a Cable Landing Site (Telehouse) that is required to service a fiber optic cable connecting the North-West with North America as part of the €30 million 'Project Kelvin' scheme

"Plans are already well-advanced by the Communications Minister Eamon Ryan in Dublin and the Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster in Belfast regarding the joint Government funded and EU supported 'Project Kelvin' which will see an underwater fiber optic cable directly connecting the North-West with North America,"

"Project Kelvin will deliver direct international telecommunications connectivity to the North West of Ireland. It will also provide a much-needed boost to Irish industry allowing our companies to advance and compete more directly on an international stage. The fact that Magee University has a high concentration on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) would also compliment the location of such a facility in Derry City Council area.

"As part of the project, a telehouse (Cable Landing Site) will be required to facilitate the information delivery between the North West - Derry, Donegal and Monaghan - and North America as well as mainland Europe. Aside from the direct benefits of such a Cable Landing site it would create the potential to attract hundreds of jobs in industries that require immediate access to such a facility.

"Despite the fact that Derry was originally earmarked as the location for this facility, the Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster has since announced that it will be constructed in Coleraine.

"I believe that this facility would bring much-needed investment and employment opportunities to Derry and I have written to Arlene Foster seeking an urgent meeting on this issue. I have also written to the Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and Communications Minister, Eamon Ryan in Dublin expressing my concern and am calling on all public representatives in the North West to set aside political considerations and collaborate in demanding this facility be built in Derry as signified in the original announcement.

"In the current economic climate and security of employment for industries such as Seagate coming under pressure the regeneration of Derry is now more important than ever and this project could play a pivotal role in that process." CRÍOCH

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