Delivering on the promise to make high speed broadband accessible for every business and home in the country is a must if rural Ireland is to fully recover from this financial crisis according to local Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes. Deputy Hayes, Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport & Communications, when he welcomed the details contained in the National Broadband Plan, published by the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD.
“The commitments made in this plan are serious and are head and shoulders above what we have been hearing up until now. This plan sets out the strategy to deliver high speed broadband throughout Ireland, including rural Tipperary where a decent connection can be virtually impossible to come by. We have committed to delivering broadband download speeds of 70Mbps with a minimum of 40 Mbps generally available and 30Mbps in hard to reach rural areas.
“We will achieve these speeds by investing State money in less densely populated areas while allowing private industry to invest in the more populated and profitable urban centres. High speed broadband is core to competitiveness and for too long rural Ireland has been hindered by the lack of investment in this sector. We have to change that. Without Government intervention there will continue to be a gap in more rural and isolated areas that will leave up to 1.4 million people unable to compete. “Of course these changes will not happen overnight, but this plan is a milestone nonetheless. I have no hesitation in using my position as Chairman of the Transport and Communications Committee to progress this issue as quickly and as effectively as possible. Any future Irish prosperity must be built on sound and sustainable infrastructure. Access to high speed broadband must be at the heart of that” Tom Hayes said.