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Another month, another delay announced for rural broadband - Kenny

4 July, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson for agriculture, food and the marine Martin Kenny TD, has criticised the latest government announcement of a delay to the rollout of rural broadband, which will not happen until at least 2024.

Deputy Kenny said:

“Fianna Fáil’s Dermot Ahern first promised broadband throughout the whole State in 2004. Fianna Fáil’s Noel Dempsey promised that every house in the state would have broadband by 2010. Eamon Ryan of the Green Party promised broadband for all by 2012. In 2014, the Fine Gael government stated that the entire country will have high-speed broadband by 2020.

“In 2016, the date was rolled out to 2022. Now, we hear that the date for full rural broadband may be 2024. Minister Denis Naughton has today admitted that his planned roll-out would not happen until after Eir’s project had completed and therefore, even the 2024 date is in question.
“Now, 13 years since that first announcement in 2004, there are still large swathes of our rural areas without adequate broadband. In this day and age, it is akin to working with oil lamps instead of electric light.

“Once again, rural areas are made to wait. Consequently, this denies country people equal access to study online, buy tickets for events, apply for jobs online, online research and even denies many of the economic possibility of running a small business from their home place.

“Even though more than a quarter of a billion-euro State investment was put into the national broadband infrastructure, it will be owned by private operators. We have also learned that that the taxpayer will have to pay an annual subvention to these operators and the minister has not even revealed how much that will be.

“This smacks of another failure in government policy. The bottom line is that rural Ireland has to wait and suffer all the disadvantages of the lack of proper broadband coverage.”

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