Broadband delay shows more 'neglect' of rural Ireland - Cowen
Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly, Barry Cowen, has called on the Minister for Communications to immediately clarify when he intends to bring proposals for the National Broadband Plan to cabinet.
Deputy Cowen was commenting following confirmation from Minister Bruton that he will not bring proposals before cabinet on Tuesday, as had been widely expected.
Deputy Cowen explained, "In November of last year, the Minister for Communications indicated that he would bring a recommendation to cabinet on the National Broadband Plan within weeks. Fast forward five months and there is still no movement – it is deeply frustrating."
“Only recently the Taoiseach said that there could be a decision made on the plan before Easter yet here we are, still without a plan. It is deeply frustrating and only serves to alienate the people of rural Ireland who are depending on the rollout. Thousands of households and businesses across Offaly and the Midlands are waiting for the Minister and the Government to get their act together on this long overdue project."
“There is no doubt about it; the constant delays are having a tangible negative impact across Ireland. Farmers are required to complete more of their applications for schemes online - impossible if they don’t have broadband. Students are sitting in the local McDonalds or Town Centre to avail of the Wi-Fi there to complete their homework, and SME’s are unable to upgrade or expand their businesses online. It’s nothing short of a farce at this stage,” concluded Deputy Cowen.