Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East and Midlands-North-West European Parliament candidate Anne Rabbitte has called on the Minister for Communications to outline his timeline for the National Broadband Plan as it appears the plan has been delayed once again.

Deputy Rabbitte said, “In the western region we have been waiting with anticipation since last November when we were told the Minister for Communications would bring forward the plans for the National Broadband Plan. Yet, five months later we are facing another delay. The government is holding people in contempt and it’s a disgrace. It’s easy to see that the Minister is from the East and is, as usual, Dublin centric. The people of the West have been shelved yet again.

“In the West we are some of the worst affected areas with little to no provision of high-speed broadband. I have been meeting with many residents from Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo who are frustrated by the lack of broadband in their area. It’s not just households that are affected either but numerous SMEs too have been in contact to raise their concerns and the fact that they want to expand but can’t because they don’t have the adequate access to broadband.

“It’s getting to the stage that we should be looking towards what strategic funding from the EU we can access that can be invested in the critical infrastructure needed to secure the access people need.

 “It is baffling that in 2019 we have people traveling into bigger towns to use public WIFI because their own broadband is so inadequate. The Minister must detail the new timeline as this delay is simply not good enough,” concluded Deputy Rabbitte.