56 locations in Clare are set to benefit as a result of plans to greatly increase access to high speed broadband in rural Ireland.
The news was announced by Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte TD who confirmed a strategy to implement the National Broadband Plan. The strategy builds on the work done by industry and government through the Next Generation Broadband Taskforce, which gave rise to the National Broadband Plan and the subsequent National Digital Strategy.
The Clare locations are: Ardnacrusha, Aughinish, Ballinruan, Ballycannon, Ballynacally, Ballyvaughan, Ballyvelaghan, Bealaclugga, Bodyke, Caher, Carran, Carrigaholt, Connolly, Coolmeen, Craggagh, Cranny, Cree, Cross, Darragh, Doolin, Doonaha, Drumandoora, Drumdigus, Finvarra, Flagmount, Inagh, Kilbaha, Kilbane, Kilkee, Kilkishen, Kildysart, Kilnaboy, Kilmaley, Kilmihil, Kilmore, Kilmurry, Kilnamona, Kilshanny, Knock, Labasheeda, Lissycasey, Lisdeen, Mahonburgh, Maurices Mills, Mountshannon, Moyasta, Newtown, Oatfield, O’Callaghans Mills, Ogonnelloe, Querrin, Quilty, Ruan, Spanish Point, Tullig and Whitegate.
Responding to the announcement, Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF) Director Torlach Denihan said: “Industry’s ability to contribute to both Ireland meeting the EU’s Digital Agenda targets and to a national economic recovery is dependent on the speedy implementation of the plan. Industry is committed to playing its part in the rapid roll out of high-speed broadband. This initiative is a once-off opportunity for a collaborative solution to the digital divide and will help establish Ireland as a digital economy leader.
Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy described the announcement by as “hugely significant for rural development in County Clare.”
He added: “The absence of high speed broadband has been a significant problem in rural areas, and is hampering job creation. Therefore, I am delighted that 56 locations in Clare are set to benefit from the announcement.”
Senator Mulcahy commented: “Since the announcement of the National Broadband Plan in 2012, the number of companies, such as Eircom, UPC and Sky, offering high speed internet access has increased significantly. However, the Government recognises that the absence of fibre networks in rural communities has led to broadband blackspots. The Government is committing to investing significantly in our fibre network, to ensure that rural communities are not left behind. This will make it much easier for broadband companies to offer high speed internet access right across the country and will ensure that the recovery in the jobs market is felt nationwide.”
He added: “This is a highly ambitious project, which will address the areas of the country which cannot access commercial high speed broadband. The Government has already identified more than 1,000 locations nationwide which will be targeted, ensuring fibre networks are available so commercial companies can deliver broadband directly to homes and businesses. This approach will also ensure that the network is future-proofed, and capable of responding to new technology developments and increasing demand.”
“The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will now proceed with an implementation plan in parallel with the comprehensive mapping process currently underway,” concluded Senator Mulcahy.