Broadband for Louth – Adams
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called on the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to state “when households and businesses in Louth can expect to have full access to broadband?”
The Louth TD was speaking in the Dáil today during a Private Members debate on Rural Broadband.
Teachta Adams said:
“Rural Ireland has long been denied essential services and resources that many urban areas took for granted. This has been particularly true in the provision of broadband, which in the 21st century is essential for business, education and communication purposes.
“On Tuesday, the Minister announced that the government has chosen to adopt the Commercial Stimulus Model as its ownership model for broadband which will leave our communications infrastructure in the hands of the private sector and not the state. This is a mistake.
“The decision to opt for the privatisation model in order to reduce costs is short sighted and deeply flawed and will ultimately cost the state and consumers much more in the future.
“There is also widespread concern at the length of time that will now be needed to provide broadband access to all parts of the state.
“Relating to my own constituency of Louth, the former Minister for Communications Alex White told me in a PQ response last December that there are still 15,000 premises and households in County Louth to be covered by the new arrangement.
“The future availability of broadband to much of County Louth will now be dependent upon the private sector provider.
“Six months ago, then Minister White predicted that 85% of addresses in the state would have access to high speed services by 2018, with all addresses by 2020.
“Minister Naughten’s scheme will see that timeframe pushed back to 2022 and there is no timeframe for broadband for Louth.”