Minister of State ‘keenly aware’ of importance of high-speed broadband access

The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce, which is coordinated by officials of two departments, has successfully addressed a number of complex issues over the last three years, many of which will facilitate the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) when the contract for the State Intervention Area is signed.

These were the sentiments expressed by the Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Séan Canney, during Dáil proceedings recently.

Canney was asked by Fianna Fáil’s deputy Dara Calleary about the discussions he had with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, with regard to broadband provision in rural areas.

‘Importance of access’

Minister Canney said that he was “keenly aware” of the importance of access to high-speed, high-quality broadband services in rural areas and had engaged regularly with his ministerial colleagues in an effort to find ways to remove barriers to the roll-out of the telecommunications infrastructure.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has overall policy responsibility for the NBP.

He continued: “However, the Department of Rural and Community Development works closely with that department and with local authorities to help prepare rural communities for the roll-out of high-speed broadband.

“As Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, I work across both the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

I also chair the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce which was established in 2016 to identify and overcome obstacles to mobile phone and broadband services.

“The taskforce is a cross-Government initiative comprising senior officials from a number of departments and state bodies.”

CLASSIFIED ADVERTS