Tipperary Fine Gael Deputy Tom Hayes has received assurances from the Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte that high speed broadband is to be rolled out to all schools in the country including North and South Tipperary.
Deputy Hayes told the Dáil he was worried that there might be a possibility that until all remaining 250 schools have been connected with high-speed broadband, the final phase might not go ahead due to the current economic climate.
“It is essential that this investment be delivered as soon as possible to the remaining 250 schools to ensure they can deliver to their students a more in-depth educational experience, which is brought about through the advantages that high-speed broadband brings,” he said. “We need to ensure all our schools can harness the changing face of technology to provide a better education to secondary school students who need to be better prepared for the digital economy. To do this, a fast, reliable and secure broadband service is essential.”
In reply, Minister Rabbitte said in February 2012, he formally announced the national roll-out of 100 Mbps broadband services to post-primary schools across the country. The national roll-out of this project is being undertaken on a phased basis, with all schools scheduled to be completed by the start of the academic year in September 2014.
“I can assure Deputy Hayes that the extension to south Tipperary will not be held up because of the constrained financial circumstances,” he said. “The roll-out will continue to September 2014, when schools in South Tipperary, along with those in North Tipperary, Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow, will be connected. The procurement of services to ensure this is achieved as quickly as possible is currently being undertaken.”