The Government has come in for criticism from Cavan/Monaghan TD Niamh Smyth in relation to what she has described as the “major delays in the roll-out of broadband connections in rural areas.”
Deputy Smyth has expressed her frustration that it will be 2023 before homes and businesses can avail of highspeed broadband.
The Fianna Fail TD described the Government’s record on broadband as “disgraceful”, adding, “The National Broadband Plan was launched in 2012, but according to the latest information provided to my party, it will be more than a decade later before it is fully rolled out.”
In Leitrim there are 22,285 residences of which 51% (11,287) are designated as ‘amber’ meaning they fall within State intervention areas and represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP.
Leitrim has the highest number of intervention areas and the news that the wait for highspeed broadband will continue will frustrate many.
In reply to a question submitted by Deputy Eamon Ó Cuiv, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten said, “My Department is in a formal procurement process to select a company or companies who will roll-out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area. That procurement process is now at an advanced stage.
“As part of this procurement process, the bidder(s) will be required to submit their strategies, including timescales, for the network build and rollout. My Department will engage with the winning bidder(s) to ensure the most efficient deployment as part of the contract. Bidders have indicated that network rollout will take 3-5 years following contract award.”
Minister Naughten acknowledged the services expected are not always provided.
“I recognise the frustration experienced across Ireland where telecommunications networks are not always delivering the services people expect. In the interim, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.”