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Telecommunications legacy of G8 must be permanent - Flanagan

21 January, 2013 - by Phil Flanagan

Sinn Féin MLA for Fermanagh & South Tyrone Phil Flanagan has said that any increase in telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate the G8 summit in Fermanagh in June must be permanent and not simply temporary to benefit the 'great and the good of world powers'.

Speaking in the Assembly today following a statement on telecommunications by Minister Arlene Foster, Mr Flanagan, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said:

"With regards to the much heralded legacy that is predicted to materialise as a result of the G8 summit taking place in Fermanagh this June, I would be very sceptical as to the long-lasting benefits that this event will have on those in our rural communities.

"Not a single planning application has been submitted for further investment in telecommunications infrastructure as a result of the G8 summit; such a move would be required at this stage if permanent improvements were to be made in time for June.

"Additional investment in mobile phone and broadband coverage needs to take place in a sustainable and permanent manner and not simply a temporary measure to facilitate the great and the good of world powers and their respective entourages.

"Anything else will be seen as a slap in the face for local people who suffer from inadequate telecommunications infrastructure on a daily basis, while those who can have some influence in these areas cannot cope for two days without coverage.

"If the people of areas like Boho and Derrygonelly can survive everyday, then why can these people not do the same?"

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