Timmy Dooley has accused Minister for Communications Denis Naughten of failing rural communities across Ireland.
Dooley pointed to findings in a Switcher report that certain parts of rural Ireland have broadband speeds thirty six times slower than speeds in the capital as an area in which rural Ireland has been let down.
He lambasted the Government’s “complete incompetence when it comes to rural connectivity”. The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications added “It’s simply not acceptable that homeowners and business owners in Longford, Mayo, Roscommon and Leitrim are being forced to accept speeds averaging 2Mbps, when users in Dublin are accessing broadband well in excess of 30 or 40Mbps”.
Our average figures wouldn’t even meet the US standard for what constitutes broadband. The FCC has previously said that speeds below 25Mbps should not be referred to as broadband. The Government has a long way to go to ensure that rural communities can access decent, high-speed broadband services. What’s more, the Government has a long way to go to convince me that it has the capacity to deliver on its commitments.”
Deputy Dooley has criticised the Roscommon native for a lack of ambition. “The current commitments made by Minister Naughten to achieve 30Mbps are in complete contrast to what the European Commission believe communities should be able to access. They believe, quite rightly, that 100Mbps is the minimum standard. This is what we should be aiming towards, and not a sub-par standard that is already out of date.”
“Two things have happened under the current Minister – the timetable for rolling out the National Broadband Plan has been pushed out, and out, until what looks like mid-2023, and the actual quality of what’s proposed to be rolled out is lightyears behind what’s needed by communities” he concluded.