March 11, 2020
Rural communities should not have to pay more for broadband – O’Dowd

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has called for equality of treatment for rural dwellers when it comes to broadband billing.

Speaking following today’s meeting of the Assembly Economy Committee, John O’Dowd said: 

“The publicly funded rural broadband scheme, Project Stratum, is a very welcome project for rural dwellers who cannot access high speed broadband. 

“It’s roll-out is much anticipated with a £165m of public money being used to fund the project with private enterprise funding the rest.

“However, it would be extremely unfair if rural dwellers were asked to pay more for their broadband than urban dwellers.

“Internet providers are being given a huge public investment of £165m of tax payers’ money and all users should face the same tariffs regardless of where they live. 

“I have asked the Department of the Economy to be conscious of this when awarding the final contract. 

“Equality of treatment for rural dwellers must be at the heart of the process.” 

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