Broadband promise for entire county

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Every home, school and business in Leitrim will have access to high speed broadband by 2020 following an announcement made by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resource’s Alex White TD, on Monday.

Every home, school and business in Leitrim will have access to high speed broadband by 2020 following an announcement made by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resource’s Alex White TD, on Monday.

The Minister has published online national and county maps that identify the homes, businesses and schools where commercial providers will deliver high-speed broadband access by the end of 2016 and said that the State would invest in all the remaining areas to ensure that every home, school and business in Ireland has access to high-speed broadband, regardless of where it is located.

This should be welcome news for residents in Co Leitrim where Government figures show that 13,326 premises in the county need intervention in order to obtain access to high speed broadband.

According to the figures, Co Leitrim has the second highest percentage of households requiring intervention, along with Co Mayo, with both counties showing that 60% of premises require broadband aid.

The worst affected county is Roscommon where 24,856 or 64% of all premises need intervention.

Minister White said: “With the publication of a high-speed broadband national coverage map – along with a consultation document – we have moved a significant step closer to closing the digital divide and meeting our commitment to the rural communities of Ireland. This event is a demonstration of my commitment to ensure that ever more people have access to high speed broadband – month-on-month, year-on-year – until the last home, school and business is connected. It is my personal hope that this can be achieved by 2020.”

The maps, which allow the public to identify their own premises to see whether their high-speed broadband will be provided by a commercial operator or through State intervention, can be accessed at www.broadband.gov.ie.

A consultation on the content of the maps, which closes on February 12, 2015, will ensure that they accurately reflect the extent of planned state investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure.

• For more on the broadband issue see page 4 of this week’s Leitrim Observer.