Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East and Midlands-North-West European Parliament candidate Anne Rabbitte has called on the Minister for Communications to outline his timeline for the National Broadband Plan as it appears the plan has been delayed once again.
Deputy Rabbitte appealed:
In the western region we have been waiting with anticipation since last November when we were told the Minister for Communications would bring forward the plans for the National Broadband Plan. Yet, five months later we are facing another delay. The government is holding people in contempt and it is a disgrace. It is easy to see that the Minister is from the East and is, as usual, Dublin centric. The people of the West have been shelved and shafted once again.
Deputy Rabbitte went on to say:
In the west, we are some of the worst affected area in the country with little to no provision of high-speed broadband. I have been meeting with many residents from Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo who are frustrated by the lack of broadband in their area. It is on everyones lips. It is not just households that are affected either but numerous small and medium sized business who have been in contact with me to raise their concerns. Many want to expand their business, bring on new employees, the lack of adequate access to broadband means they are stalled in their efforts to grow their business.
Deputy Rabbitte concluded:
It is getting to the stage now that we need to be looking towards strategic funding from the EU that could be invested in the critical digital infrastructure necessary to secure a modern day service that people need to live, work and revitalise their communities. It is baffling that in 2019 we have people traveling into bigger towns or climbing mountains to use public WIFI because their own broadband is so inadequate. The Minister must detail the new timeline as this delay is simply not good enough.