Sinn Féin spokesperson on Rural Affairs Martin Kenny TD has described the SSE pull out of the National Broadband Plan as major setback for rural development.
Deputy Kenny said, "The programme for government promised high speed broadband would be delivered to every home and business in the country with 85% delivered in two years and 100% within five years.
"Two years later and the Government has not even awarded the contract.
"This is government incompetence and the consortium which is the sole bidder for the contract is falling apart, with SSE pulling out of the tender process.
"This is a major setback for rural Ireland as high-speed broadband is a key element of infrastructure for any business.
"Even though this government promised not to leave any town village or parish behind, the reality is that towns and villages in my constituency of Sligo, Leitrim North Roscommon and South Donegal are being left behind and neglected as a result.
"The current government plan is not achievable and the only company that can deliver high speed fibre is ESB Networks, which is state owned.
"Sinn Fein has raised this with the Minister time and time again.
"The government should stop making highfalutin announcements and follow through on the promises they made in the programme for government.
"Rural Ireland needs high speed broadband now and the government must deliver it."