All homes in County Clare were scheduled to be connected to high speed broadband by the taregt date of 2020 but this is now expected to be pushed back.
The Irish Farmers’ Association condemned the “unacceptable delay”, describing the decision as “a backward step that will undermine the enterprise potential of rural Ireland”.
Ibec said its telecoms members remain committed to the process and will assist in any way they can.
Ibec Director of Policy Fergal O’Brien said: “The delay will disappoint those communities affected, but it is encouraging to hear that the matter remains a key priority of the Department. The government should now explore time lost can be made up during the roll out phase. Obstacles to network construction, such as road opening and planning, should be addressed through a more cohesive approach by local authorities and state agencies.
“Several major decisions connected with the National Broadband Plan will need cabinet approval. This underlines the need for the resolution of ongoing negotiations on the formation of the next government and the creation of a stable environment for policy making and legislation.”