Is the Govt’s New Broadband Plan Another False Dawn for Rural Kerry? – Daly

Speaking in the Seanad on Broadband Services

Minister must publish areas to be covered under new broadband plan
Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly, says he hopes the new broadband plan published by Minister Alex White is not another false dawn for rural communities in Kerry.

The Minister for Communications has announced that two developments are set to deliver high speed broadband to 500,000 homes and businesses across the country.

He commented: “While the announcement by Minister Alex White that high-speed broadband will be delivered to 500,000 homes and businesses across the country is to be welcomed, I hope this is not another false dawn for rural communities in Kerry.

“It is not the first time the Government has committed to providing high-quality broadband to rural Ireland. Every time there has been an announcement it has failed to deliver and resulted in considerable anger and frustration in rural communities across Kerry beset by extremely slow and poor broadband services.

“Only two months ago, the Government abandoned rural Ireland by withdrawing funding for the National Broadband Scheme, which provided basic broadband services to rural areas in Kerry through a subsidy for the company 3 Ireland. This move could result in broadband customers here being forced to pay an additional €176 per year to receive a basic broadband service.

“In April, just before the local elections, the Government announced the National Broadband Plan, which it said would “set out the strategy to deliver high speed broadband throughout Ireland”. What is the difference between the National Broadband Plan and the one announced this week?

“We need to see specifics with the new plan, the broadband service across many towns and villages in Kerry has not improved but deteriorated since the summer. It is causing extreme frustration and anger for businesses struggling to compete with companies in larger towns. I am also calling on the Minister to reveal which towns and villages in Kerry will benefit from this new plan.

“Until we see the details, there will be understandable skepticism in rural Kerry with the latest announcements by the Government.”

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