Provision of high speed broadband for rural areas is 'more important than ever'

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Broadband

With more people trying to work from home the need for a reliable high speed broadband connection is more vital than ever.

With a massive surge in people working from home during the current Covid-19 pandemic, the provision of high speed broadband services has become “more important than ever” to counties like Leitrim.
Cllr Sean McDermott told the Leitrim Observer that the current pandemic is a major opportunity to encourage people currently working in the larger urban centres, to relocate to rural counties, but this requires the provision of a proper high-speed broadband service.
Cllr Paddy O'Rourke pointed out the additional pressures an “indifferent level of broadband provision” has caused for those trying to keep working from their home.
“The weaknesses in the present system are much more obvious with the increase in demand in recent weeks. A proper system needs to be put in place so we can do away with blackspots,” he said.
Cllr Des Guckian said it was obvious that “we urgently need the fastest broadband immediately in Leitrim” to help encourage the repopulation of our county.
All councillors agreed that a push is needed to address any issues with broadband provision in the county.
Deputy Marian Harkin acknowledged the opportunity provided by the Covid-19 pandemic to encourage more people to work remotely however she stressed this will only be possible if Leitrim homes have access to provide high-speed broadband.
"This is one of my absolute top priorities," she said.
“The idea of a fair share being allocated to the region needs to be stitched into the national development plan.”
Deputy Martin Kenny acknowledged that even though the National Broadband Plan is “excessively expensive”, he said “it is what we have to work with and we need to bring it on as quickly as possible”.