Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has said the promises in the Programme for Government around high speed broadband are ridiculous and not worth the paper they are written on for rural dwellers.

Speaking in the Dáil this week under Questions on Promised Legislation Deputy Murphy said: “The programme for Government promised to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas and stated that no town or village would be left behind under the National Broadband Plan. It also stated that 85% of premises would have access to high speed broadband in two years with 100% access as soon as possible in less than 5 years- it’s all ridiculous and not worth the paper it’s written on.”

Deputy Murphy also raised the issue of rural broadband when he posed a number of questions at the Joint Committee on Rural and Community Development this week.

“We have appalling broadband connectivity in County Roscommon and East Galway. Almost 50% of premises are relying on the State led Intervention under the NBP. Accessing quality broadband is a core requirement for small and medium sized businesses across the country. Let’s be clear the provision of quality broadband for rural Ireland is not a luxury, it is a matter of necessity for survival. Farmers cannot complete online applications for payments, schools are unable to access educational aids and businesses are unable to operate fully functional online services.

Deputy Murphy also highlighted a situation on the Longford/ Roscommon border in the Clondra/ Tarmonbarry area where Eir refused to bring broadband 200 metres more down the road to include an additional 6 houses on the road. “There was an issue in Tarmonbarry where the 043 line ends and the 071 line begins and Eir refused to bring broadband 200 metres more down the road to include six extra houses on the road- it’s outrageous- two of those houses were people who were running a business from home and they had to move- it’s crazy! That should have been sorted overnight- these kind of minor issues which are not being resolved are driving people to extreme frustration,” said Deputy Murphy.