Broadband speeds need to improve

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Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on communications, energy and natural resources has said that the proposed broadcasting charge will only be fair when every home has access to sufficient broadband.

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on communications, energy and natural resources has said that the proposed broadcasting charge will only be fair when every home has access to sufficient broadband.

Speaking following an announcement of a review of public service broadcasting funding by Minister Rabbitte, Deputy Colreavy said: “I fully accept and support that public service broadcasting should receive funding from the state. However, plans to replace the TV licence fee with a new public service broadcasting charge must be justified.”

Deputy Colreavy said while only households with a television were subject to the TV licence fee, it is now expected that every household will pay the Public Service Broadcasting Charge.

“The minister believes changes need to be made due technological advances, whereby people are accessing broadcast content online. This is despite the fact that Ireland has the lowest level of high-speed broadband in the EU.

“If we look at Finland we can see that their government strategy aims to have universal access to fibre networks which allow broadband speeds of 100Mbps,” he noted.

“In Australia, 93% of homes and businesses have access to fibre networks capable of delivering speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1,024Mbps). Minister Rabbitte must address broadband speeds before he begins to charge households for a service they cannot access.”