Deputy Martin Kenny
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Kenny TD, speaking after the Government announced that Eir would expand broadband service to the easy to reach properties, said that the Department of Agriculture would want to take note, before asking farmers from his constituency to make Basic Payment Scheme applications online.
Deputy Kenny said, “Any expansion of broadband services in Ireland has to be welcome, but allowing cherry-picking by providers, so that they can ignore areas which are not commercially profitable, means that large sections of the West are left without proper broadband coverage.
“The announcement of the roll-out of broadband has been nearly a monthly occurrence for the past few years, but it is still not happening for many rural areas. This is another example of Government lack of understanding of the reality of people’s lives. One Department is allowing commercial interests to dictate who gets broadband while another Department is demanding online applications.
“More and more functions are moving online. I hope the Department of Agriculture is taking note of the situation in this part of the world before asking farmers to apply online for their Basic Payment Scheme.
“Rural areas of Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, and Donegal have the lowest level of broadband in the country and are quickly being left behind. The fear is that this is a long term issue as the Government has shown no political will, despite lots of lip service, to redress the imbalance between the urban and rural.”