Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has described a series of broadband outages in Moville as completely unacceptable.  The service was unavailable for over 6 hours yesterday, during peak business hours.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “This is a completely unacceptable situation.  The broadband service in Moville has been substandard for years.  Every few months the signal fails and homes and businesses in the town and surrounding areas are left without a broadband connection.  Despite an intermittent service, customers are still being charged in full, and are understandably frustrated by the situation.

“The poor level of broadband service in this county has become more and more evident over the last four years. For all their promises and policy pledges, the digital divide has grown under this government. The latest National Broadband Plan commits the Government to providing broadband provision within 5 years. However, this is kicking the can down the road to 2021 for the many communities and businesses that need high speed internet now.

“This government has presided over a broadband market that is the third most expensive in Europe.  Despite the high charges, the quality of the service, particularly here in Donegal, is completely substandard.  This puts businesses here at a serious competitive disadvantage.  High speed broadband is taken for granted in most urban centres but here in Donegal it is intermittent and unreliable.  The service in Donegal leaves businesses without access to the internet, credit card facilities or online booking and shopping services.  This is not conducive to good business practice.

“Under the government’s plan, more than half of all homes and businesses in Donegal will have to wait up until 2021 for broadband services by State intervention planned under the Government’s National Broadband Plan.  That is not acceptable and is typical of Fine Gael and Labour’s attitude to rural Ireland. Roll out of fibre optic cable broadband is the best way to bridge the digital divide especially in rural counties.

“Fianna Fáil supports the roll out of fibre optic broadband directly to all premises in the state through 3 means – direct state intervention, commercial operators, and facilitate community solutions such as group broadband schemes.   I will continue to campaign for high-speed fibre internet broadband to be brought to every home in this county. The importance of connecting homes and businesses to high speed broadband is as important as bringing electricity to rural Ireland was many decades ago”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.