Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications Michael Moynihan TD has criticised the government for failing to deliver high speed broadband services to homes and businesses throughout the country.

The government committed to delivering high speed fibre broadband to 90% of homes and businesses in the programme for government. However figures show that 40% of the population remains outside the reach of high speed broadband services.

Deputy Moynihan commented, “In their programme for government both Fine Gael and Labour committed to delivering fibre broadband services to 90% of homes and businesses in the state. However 4 years on it is clear that the government is not making progress as 40% of the population remains outside of the reach of high speed broadband services let alone fibre services.

“There are numerous blackspots across the country where no decent broadband service is available. These blackspots are costing jobs and threatening rural sustainability. We have seen the emergence of a digital divide where broadband providers are investing in upgrading their infrastructure in urban areas while rural Ireland is being neglected.

“In 2011 the government promised to roll out significant investments in next generation broadband within four years under the NewERA plan. A clear commitment was made by the government to provide fibre broadband services to over 90% of homes and business in the state. The government has clearly failed to deliver on this commitment.

“The facts speak for themselves. Ireland ranks 42 in the global rankings for the distribution of high speed broadband. 40% of the population and 96% of the country geographically, still lack commercial or fibre broadband services. The digital divide has grown under this government despite its promises and policy pledges. This government has achieved the creation of one of the most pronounced two-tier broadband coverage systems in Europe.

“It is imperative that the government fast tracks the coverage of fibre as it committed to doing in the latest National Broadband Plan” said Deputy Moynihan.