Fianna Fáil Press Office
Michael Moynihan TD
Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
12 November 2015
Government’s broadband strategy is more fiction than fibre – Moynihan
Scale of digital divide in communities is at crisis point and requires action
Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Communications Michael Moynihan has said it is appalling that over 750,000 premises will have to wait up until 2021 for the government’s broadband plan to be rolled out.
Deputy Moynihan said: “The Government committed to having high speed fibre broadband services delivered to 90% of homes and businesses by 2015 and they have utterly failed. There is a digital divide in communities and it is growing.
“Connected communities are competitive communities. Increased broadband provision is essential if we’re to rebalance the two-tier recovery in the economy.
“After almost five years of failing to ramp-up the roll-out of high-speed broadband Fine Gael and Labour seem desperate to mask the digital divide they’ve created. There are numerous high-speed broadband blackspots where no decent service is available. This is hurting investment and job creation opportunities.
“Only a few months out from the general election and government is clearly getting very nervous about its failure to deliver. Instead of the programme being close to completion 40% of the population remains outside the reach of high-speed broadband services let alone fibre services. We’ve also seen the emergence of a real digital divide where private operators are investing in upgrading their broadband infrastructure in urban areas while rural Ireland is being neglected.
“Figures previously supplied to me on a county basis show that close to half of all premises in 15 counties may have to wait up to 2021 to receive high-speed broadband under the government’s state intervention broadband plan. The high percentage of premises in counties that may have to wait until the next decade for broadband through state intervention include: Cavan (57%), Clare (51%), Donegal (52%), Galway (47%), Kerry (57%), Kilkenny (47%), Leitrim (60%), Longford (52%), Mayo (60%), Monaghan (58%), Roscommon (64%), Offaly (47%) Tipperary (49%), Sligo (47%), Wexford (49%)”.
Deputy Moynihan added: “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. This is a damming indictment of Fine Gael and Labour’s commitment to ensuring Ireland is recovery-ready. Many communities throughout the country are being left at a huge disadvantage because of this Government’s failures.”