Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has said the Minister for Communications must clarify when he intends to bring proposals for the National Broadband Plan (NBP) to cabinet. It was expected that Minister Bruton would detail the NBP this week however this has been delayed.

Deputy Chambers commented, “Another delay to the National Broadband Plan is extremely disappointing for many in County Mayo who have waited over seven years for the delivery of the NBP.

“The Taoiseach said that there could be a decision made on the plan before Easter and it was widely expected that Minister Bruton would finally bring a decision before cabinet this week but has confirmed that this will not happen.

“The Minister said the Cabinet would need ‘time and space’ to discuss the plan. There are thousands in my own constituency who require high speed broadband and have already endured seven years of ‘time and space’.

“The government have let down people across County Mayo who are relying on this plan. High speed broadband is not a luxury. It is needed in almost all jobs, education programmes, and in public service matters.

“It is no coincidence that with nearly five weeks until the Local and European elections the government have tried to push this decision away. They do not want to deliver the bad news that many rural communities will not be getting high speed broadband for some time. Having been across the constituency and region as Fianna Fáil European Director of Elections I am certain people will be wise to this strategy from the government.

“Ultimately, we have a situation in which people are driving to bigger towns to use free public wi-fi due to inadequate broadband in their own homes. In 2019 this is a massive let down of rural Mayo communities and the government must do more,” concluded Deputy Chambers.