Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, says he hopes the new broadband plan published by Minster Alex White is not another false dawn for rural Ireland.
Minister White has announced that two developments are set to deliver high speed broadband to 500,000 homes and businesses across the country.
He commented: “While the announcement by Minister Alex White that high-speed broadband will be delivered to 500,000 homes and businesses across the country is to be welcomed, I hope this is not another false dawn for rural Ireland.
“It is not the first time the Government has committed to providing high-quality broadband to rural Ireland, but every time there has been an announcement it has failed to deliver and resulted in considerable anger and frustration across rural communities beset by extremely slow and poor broadband services.
“Only two months ago, the Government abandoned rural Ireland by withdrawing funding for the National Broadband Scheme, which provided basic broadband services to rural areas through a subsidy for the company 3 Ireland. This move could result in broadband customers being forced to pay an additional €176 per year to receive a basic broadband service.
“In April, just before the local elections, the Government announced the National Broadband Plan, which it said would “set out the strategy to deliver high speed broadband throughout Ireland”. What is the difference between the National Broadband Plan and the one announced this week?
“We need to see specifics with the new plan, the broadband service across many rural towns has not improved but deteriorated since the summer. It is causing extreme frustration and anger in communities where businesses are struggling to compete with companies in larger towns.
“Until we see the details, there will be understandable scepticism in rural communities with the latest announcements by the Government.”