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Anderson angry at DETI block on meeting with Hibernia Atlantic on location of ‘Telehouse’

2 February, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has expressed her anger after the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) blocked a meeting that she had arranged with Hibernia Atlantic and a cross-party delegation to discuss the location of a 'Telehouse' which will service the Trans-Atlantic fibre optic cable that will come ashore at Portrush.

Martina Anderson said:

"I had secured a meeting with the Company, Hibernia Atlantic, awarded the contract to bring ashore the trans-Atlantic fibre optic cable that will connect the North with North America and mainland Europe.

"Unfortunately at the weekend I received a text message from Derek Bullock of Hibernia informing me that on the instructions of their client, DETI they would be unable to meet with the cross-party delegation of local elected representatives to discuss the project.

"I find this to be unacceptable political interference by the Department in the rights of public representatives to work on behalf of their electorate. I would appeal to the business community in Derry and the North West to join the politicians and make their voice heard in the strongest terms possible in objecting to this interference. The decision to place this facility in Coleraine instead of Derry despite initial DETI and Dublin Communications Department press statements identifying Derry as the preferred location smacks of the political interference that denied Derry the University in the 1960's

"The 'Telehouse' contains the Telecommunication Switches which are the 'heart' of the network. And while not providing many direct jobs, traditionally Data centres, Banks, Insurance Companies and Internet Service Providers such as Ebay, Google, Microsoft, Amazon etc, have been attracted to the immediate vicinity of a 'Telehouse'

"Our information tells us that there is no technical benefit in locating the Telehouse in Coleraine when it could be placed in Derry within easy reach of Coolkeeragh power station and better connectivity to other fibre users such as BT, NTL, UTV, Eircom and ESB.

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