The Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Regional Assembly has welcomed the recent announcement by Minister Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and National Resources, that every home and business in Ireland no matter how rural or remote, will have a minimum broadband speed of 30Mbps over the lifetime of the current Government.
Responding to the launch of the A New Broadband Plan for Ireland, Gerry Finn, Director of the BMW Regional Assembly stated, “This commitment by Government represents a significant boost and opportunity for Ireland’s rural and regional economy. In practical terms, the potential for enterprise development in those regions and areas with lower population densities such as those contained within the BMW Region, will be significantly enhanced to exploit opportunities that previously required relocation or costly one-off provider contracts”.
Along with the potential economic benefits the Director recognises that there will also be positive social impacts, Mr Finn added, “by enhancing broadband speeds the impact will be to transform the landscape and environment for the provision of services, improvements can be targeted in areas such e-education, remote/e-health and e-government where particular challenges for service provision exist in rural areas”.
The BMW Regional Assembly is the Managing Authority for the EU co-funded European Regional Development Funded BMW Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013 which includes the €80m National Broadband Scheme (NBS). Mr Finn concluded, “The Government’s commitment to deliver high-speed broadband to all households during their term of office, will place Ireland ahead of the European Union’s ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ targets for high-speed broadband coverage, giving Irish regions a clear competitive advantage”.