Rural broadband a necessity - Flanagan

Laois TD Charlie Flanagan has welcomed the announcement by Minister Pat Rabbitte that the Government has committed to a major telecommunications network build-out to rural Ireland.

Over 1,000 rural communities have already been identified as target areas for the proposed fibre based connections, and Deputy Flanagan has identified areas in Laois which most need the improved service.

“The availability of broadband for homes and businesses is a big issue for people in County Laois. The reality is that broadband service providers do not focus their efforts on rural areas as they do not believe them to be commercially viable.

“Broadband is a key infrastructure and it is a requirement for nearly every household in the county regardless of where you live,” he said.

Deputy Flanagan confirmed that the Government has confirmed its intention to ensure that rural Ireland can access high speed broadband.

“The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will be engaging with local authorities and the voluntary and cooperative sectors to devise a strategy that can identify rural areas in which the State can intervene and assist them in delivering high speed broadband to their area.”

Deputy Flanagan said he had identified a number of areas in County Laois that are experiencing great difficulty in accessing a quality service of broadband.

“I will be asking Minister Rabbitte to prioritise these areas in any future implementation of the broadband strategy for rural areas and I expect that his department will publish a detailed plan on this in the coming months,” he said.

The areas in Laois which Deputy Flanagan said should be targeted under the new scheme include: Aghaboe, Attanagh, Ballinakill, Ballintubbert, Ballyfin, Ballyroan, Camross, Clogh, Coolrain, Cullahill, Emo, Errill, Luggacurren, Newtown, Old Town, Rush Hall, The Swan, Timahoe, Vicarstown, and Wolfhill.




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