Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan has said that the delivery of the National Broadband Plan is in jeopardy and that unless there is political drive and support at the very top of Government from the Taoiseach, it will continue to flounder and rural communities in Cork will suffer.
Deputy Moynihan was commenting the week after his party exposed Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten’s attempted slight of hand with regard to start dates for the State’s intervention to deliver high speed broadband to over 542,000 households, including thousands in rural Cork.
“It’s now abundantly clear that the National Broadband Plan is falling behind badly, and what’s worse is that Fine Gael are allowing this to happen on their watch.
“Unless the Taoiseach steps in, and takes a hold of this Plan by the scruff of the neck, I am not confident that it will ever be delivered in the way promised.
“This plan was promised to be delivered by 2016, and it’s now very obvious that at its present slow pace, the last houses will not be connected until 2023 at the very earliest – a full seven year delay!
“Minister Naughten can dance around the details of his ever changing plan all he likes, but the fact of the matter is, there are now serious doubts about whether or not the plan will be delivered.
“Pretending that the NBP is being delivered by private companies, on a commercial basis, such as Eir is the Minister’s tactic at present. It’s not good enough.
“The Taoiseach if he is true to his word about revitalising rural Ireland will ensure that the NBP doesn’t slip anymore and that the thousands of homes and businesses in Cork who desperate needed high speed broadband to keep pace with the rest of country get access.
“There is no point offering services on line to farmers, or educational opportunities to students, if there is a poor service. Broadband is needed no; there can be further slippage and it’s up to Taoiseach Varadkar to ensure that it is delivered,” concluded Moynihan.