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Vital now that real progress made in providing broadband to rural areas – Archibald

14 December, 2021 - by Caoimhe Archibald

Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said Project Stratum needs to deliver for those without decent broadband, particularly in rural areas.

The party's economy spokesperson was speaking following the publication of an Audit Office report on the broadband project.

Caoimhe Archibald said:

“Project Stratum is a very important project which will finally deliver decent broadband to homes and businesses that have been without this vital service for too long.

“Sinn Féin has met with the Comptroller and Auditor General on Project Stratum, and the Audit Office report today highlights while there are positives in how the contract for the project was awarded and is being rolled out, there are also concerns raised in proving that the project is value for money.

“It is vital that progress is made in ensuring those 2517 premises that are being missed from the initial contract awarded to Fibrus are reached; an additional £25 million was awarded to Project Stratum in August and I have asked the department for a breakdown of the additional premises to be covered by this funding.

“It is also important that broadband providers are held accountable for delivering broadband to premises deemed to be commercially viable in a timely way.

“I welcome that the Department for Economy is working with the Departments for Infrastructure and Finance to look at potential legislation to require developers to work with network providers to provide superfast broadband to all new-builds.

“Sinn Féin will continue to work to ensure people and businesses in in rural areas have access to decent broadband services.”

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