Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan – Monaghan Niamh Smyth has questioned the Government’s commitment to the rollout of the National Broadband Plan.

Deputy Smyth added that her office has been inundated with queries from people who are finding it increasingly difficult to secure reliable broadband for their homes and businesses.

Deputy Smyth said, “The Government’s handling of the National Broadband Plan has been nothing short of a disaster. The Government has allowed the plan to flounder for the last number of years, shifting targets and deadlines at every juncture. Earlier this year it was suggested that it could be another 5 years before all homes and businesses have access to reliable broadband services, particularly in rural areas.

“Over the summer I have been contacted by a number of people who have told me that their already poor broadband service has become unusable. In one case a home is only a couple hundred yards from the fibre broadband service. Despite this they do not have access to a reliable broadband service and the service often goes down for hours on end.

“I have raised this issue with Eir on a number of occasions but ultimately the responsibility for the rollout of the National Broadband Plan sits with the Government. We don’t even know when the contract is set to be signed so that the rollout of fibre broadband to all communities can get underway.

“This is having a detrimental impact on rural Ireland. Businesses are already struggling to survive in rural communities and jobs are being lost as a result of the failure by Government to provide high speed broadband services. How can we expect to attract investment to rural Ireland without a decent broadband service,” concluded Deputy Smyth.