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Broadband not reaching all the land - Barry McElduff

27 September, 2011 - by Barry McElduff

Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff is accusing the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment of not doing enough to make sure that rural communities have broadband access.

In an adjournment debate in the Assembly on Tuesday dealing specifically with the deficit of broadband access for the Greencastle community and other parts of West Tyrone, the Sinn Féin MLA said it affected a wide swathe of people within rural communities.

Barry McElduff said:

“Quite simply broadband is not reaching all the land. Everyone from students, businesses and farmers suffer from poor or no access to broadband in this part of Omagh District and that immediately puts them at a disadvantage when carrying out their daily activities. Increasing aspects of school curriculum need to be done on line, farmers are expected to process grant applications on line and businesses conduct banking, marketing and outreach all on line.

“There needs to be continued engagement with rural communities to identify black spot areas specifically affected and investment should follow to remedy the problem. I acknowledge that DETI has done some work in this area but even should one rural community be denied broadband access then that is not good enough especially when DETI often cite 100% coverage throughout the North.

“Bringing everyone up to the same quality of service will not only benefit people on the ground in their daily lives but also send out a clear message to rural communities that the Executive is prepared to stand up for them.”

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