National Broadband Plan will be defunct

Broadband network must be future proofed

Claire McGovern

Reporter:

Claire McGovern

Broadband not spot! Longford has slowest average broadband speed in Ireland and Legan is the slowest area

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Regional, Rural, Gaeltacht & Island Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív says the speeds that are being proposed under the National Broadband Plan will be defunct by the time it is due to be completed. He’s calling on the Minister for Communications to ensure that fibre optic cable is rolled out to every home and business in rural Ireland.

Deputy Ó Cuív explained, “Talk of 30mb broadband is ridiculous at this point, we need to future proof our network and ensure that a speed of 1,000mb is provided to all businesses and homes in rural Ireland. The prevarication by the Department on rolling out broadband has been disastrous, and there is now a massive digital divide between urban and rural communities. Unfortunately it looks unlikely that this is going to be resolved any time soon.

“The amount of money provided for the National Broadband Scheme next year is pitiful, and it is now obvious that the only people who will get fibre to their homes and businesses in 2017 will be those who have it provided by commercial companies.

“It appears that Minister Naughten is finally taking heed of the warnings that the proposed 30mb speed falls far below what is needed and has indicated that the tendering process for the National Broadband Plan will award “additional marks for future proofing of solutions”. What does the Minister mean by this? Is he planning on giving preference to bidders who are willing to provide the highest level of service for people living in rural Ireland?

“Fibre broadband is the only way forward. Anything less will be obsolete by the time the NBP is fully rolled out”.