Rural Ireland must have access to quality, affordable broadband
Every home and business in the Ireland must have access to a cost-effective, high-speed broadband service, IFA Deputy President, Tim O’Leary said today in advance of the end of the National Broadband Scheme on August 25.
“Broadband access is a key infrastructure requirement for the 21st century. Quality broadband services are of national strategic importance for both urban and rural dwellers. The Government must ensure that broadband access is improved, and guaranteed throughout the country. Investing in the infrastructure to allow the service to improve for rural Ireland will pay significant dividend in terms of job creation and investment opportunities,” O’Leary said.
“The National Broadband Scheme guaranteed access to broadband of a minimum standard in certain rural areas. The expiry of the scheme means users in these rural areas will no longer have any guarantee of minimum speeds or standards and yet costs for the service could now increase. It would be completely unacceptable to increase the price of an inadequate or disimproved service,” Tim O’Leary continued.
A new national broadband scheme was announced by the Minister for Communications earlier this year but details have not yet been finalised.
This Scheme must be rolled out early and widely, Mr O’Leary insisted: “Thousands of homes and businesses in Ireland have zero access to broadband and the service available to those that do is substantially below the standard available in urban areas. The new broadband scheme must close the digital divide and deliver high-speed broadband at affordable prices for all businesses, homes and schools in rural Ireland. It is vital that this scheme is rolled out at an early date”.