Govt must come clean on delivery of National Broadband Plan – Smith

Published on: 16 January 2018

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Taoiseach to clarify when all homes and businesses will have access to a high-speed broadband connection.  Large parts of Cavan and Monaghan fall under the Government’s National Broadband Plan, but the timeframe for connections has been pushed out time and time again.

Deputy Smith commented, “The National Broadband Plan was announced in 2012 but almost 6 years later we are still waiting for contracts to be signed to roll out high-speed broadband to homes and businesses in Monaghan and Cavan, and right across the country.  There are over 32,000 people across the two counties dependent on the Government’s plan and the latest update from the Communications Minister Denis Naughten revealed that it could be another 5 years before these premises are connected.

“It has become clear that Minister Naughten has lost interest in pursuing the roll out of the NBP so I am now calling on the Taoiseach to intervene directly and outline where exactly the plan is at, and how long it will be before all homes and businesses will have access to quality, high-speed broadband.

“Broadband is one of the single biggest issues facing rural communities and the Government’s handling of the NBP has been nothing short of shambolic. The Programme for Government set a target of June 2017 for the awarding of the tender with a commitment to ‘to accelerate the roll out of the infrastructure next year [2017].’

“This Government has a serious issue when it comes to delivery.  It has been making promise after promise but has failed to follow through.  Every single target on broadband for rural Ireland has been missed.

“The Taoiseach needs to step up to the mark now and outline his Government’s plan to roll out broadband.  People are tired of the spin over substance; this Government needs to start delivering”.

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