Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said an announcement next week regarding the future roll-out of broadband in Clare will give clarity to rural communities still without access to an affordable high speed internet service.
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, TD, will be Doolin this coming Monday to launch the next phase of the National Broadband Plan. This will include the launch of a map that will show in detail the locations across Ireland that will have access to high-quality broadband by the end of 2016, and the remaining locations, which will require state intervention to provide access to high speed broadband.
Senator Mulcahy said the absence of high speed broadband has been a “significant problem” for many rural areas of Clare, and is “hampering job creation”.
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.”
“While I am delighted that 56 locations in the County are set to benefit from fibre broadband service, every effort must be made to ensure that these services are not overpriced and that rural customers are offered value for money. Quality fibre broadband services and not mobile or fixed wireless broadband is the way forward if we are to properly invest in the future development of our rural communities,” he concluded.