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Minister admits broadband rollout may not meet 2022 deadline - Peadar Tóibín TD

15 November, 2016

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Regional Development and Rural Affairs, Peadar Tóibín TD, has said that broadband speeds in certain parts of the country, which are up to 36 times slower than other areas in the state, is seriously hindering economic progress in the regions.

An Teachta Tóibín, reacting to a survey published by price comparison website Switcher, noted that the broadband roll out targets of 2022 are unlikely to be even met.

An Teachta Tóibín said:

“This latest survey affirms what we already know – internet coverage state-wide is woefully inadequate, with cripplingly low broadband speeds in many parts of the country. Indeed, one-third of actual internet connections in Ireland are less than 5mbps, which cannot be even classed as broadband.  

“The roll out of broadband in Ireland has been already been painfully slow and behind schedule. Minister Humphreys admitted to me a number of weeks ago that all houses in the state may not receive broadband by the 2022 target. This puts businesses, especially those wishing to tap into the online market which makes up 32% of Irish sales, at a serious disadvantage.

“Another cause for concern is that, despite having invested over a ¼ of a billion euro into the new national broadband, the ownership of this infrastructure will forever be ceded to private hands. What’s more, the tax payer will have to pay an annual subvention to these private operators.

“Minister Humphreys could not give me a figure when I asked her what this annual subvention would cost. Not only is broadband rollout an expensive and protracted affair, it also leaves a vitally important asset in private hands, the final cost to Irish citizens as yet unknown.”

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