Sinn Féin spokesperson for Rural Development, Claire Kerrane TD, has today raised concerns about delays to the rollout of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) to rural communities.
This comes on the heels of government officials and National Broadband Ireland confirming today in committee that just 17,000 premises have been completed this year to date.
Speaking this morning, Teachta Kerrane said:
“Today’s confirmed delays to the rollout of the National Broadband Plan have serious implications for rural communities.
“Government officials advised in committee today that the company implementing the NBP, National Broadband Ireland, has completed just 17,000 installations so far this year.
“Their target for 2021 was 115,000, yet today it was confirmed that the revised estimate for the end of this year is now 60,000 – just half of the initial milestone target.
“Yet again, we are hearing that workers and families in rural areas will be left waiting for broadband, and it seems there are many areas which will be waiting for quite some time.
“Households and businesses in rural areas need reliable broadband for their day-to-day lives. Accelerated broadband rollout for rural communities is not too much to ask for in this day and age.
“It was a commitment in the Programme for Government, and it is still being looked at as regards the possibility of making this happen.
“I am calling on the government to ensure that targets for broadband in rural areas are ambitious and that resources are provided to ensure they are met.
“We need to see government accountability for broadband rollout in rural communities and we need to see it now.”