County broadband coverage is
‘a disgrace’

Broadband coverage in Co Leitrim has been described as an absolute disgrace and County Councillors have called the now defunct National Broadband Scheme a “total failure and a complete waste of money”.

Broadband coverage in Co Leitrim has been described as an absolute disgrace and County Councillors have called the now defunct National Broadband Scheme a “total failure and a complete waste of money”.

The criticism arose following a motion by Cllr Mary Bohan at September’s Council meeting.

Cllr Bohan called for the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to “honour the Government’s promise to provide adequate broadband services in rural towns and villages”.

Citing the announcement made by the Government prior to the May Local Elections regarding the provision of fibre optic broadband services in a number of locations across Co Leitrim, Cllr Bohan said that people could not wait and a fixed time frame had to be provided for the completion of this service.

“The reality is that broadband in Co Leitrim is an absolute disgrace,” she said, noting that she worked in an office which still relied on a dial up connection. “A dial-up system in 2014. That’s ridiculous and we aren’t the only ones,” she said.

Cathaoirleach, Cllr Paddy O’Rourke backed the motion pointing out that “we were told in 2007 that we would have enabling of the Eircom exchanges here in Leitrim by the third quarter of that year and nothing has happened.”

Leitrim County Council CEO, Frank Curran, explained that the Local Authority was setting up an in-house team to do an in-depth study into what schemes are available, what coverage variations are like and what providers are serving the county.

He said this was necessary so that “problems could be identified and actions taken to improve broadband”.

But Cllr Bohan reacted angrily stating that she could not believe she was hearing this.

“Why in God’s name, in 2014 are we doing another study on broadband for?” she asked. “I am sick and tired of hearing promise after promise and seeing these all broken.”