Enet plans for high speed fibre network in Ballinasloe and Roscommon Town collapse as provision of rural broadband falls into chaos- Murphy
A major investment by enet to bring high-speed fibre networks to a number of towns including Ballinasloe and Roscommon Town have now also collapsed according to Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy.“This Government’s attitude to rural Ireland has been laid bare for all to see with the latest disaster to befall the National Broadband Plan and promises which were made to hundreds of thousands of citizens living in rural Ireland that it would roll out a National Broadband Plan have ended in abject failure.
“Following on from this disastrous announcement this week I made enquires as to the status of a separate multi million euro investment which was announced by enet last year
“I met with representatives of enet last year in Ballinasloe to discuss the multi million infrastructure investment of high speed broadband in a number of towns as part of the fibre direct initiative. The meeting took in Ballinasloe in September 2017. Ballinasloe, Manorhamilton and Roscommon Town were included in the initiative.
“Following the withdrawal of SSE from the National Broadband Plan I sought clarification as to whether the investment for Ballinasloe, Manorhamilton and Roscommon Town would still be proceeding as planned.
“However I have been informed that this investment was “paused in January 2018 following a commercial review” and a spokesperson for enet said this week that this project was not linked to the delivery of the NBP but it is simply outrageous- the provision of high speed broadband for rural living is coming apart at the seams.
“We appalling broadband connectivity in County Roscommon -A recent reply to my PQ to Minister Naughten shows that there are over 38,500 premises in County Roscommon of which almost half or 47% of premises are relying on the State led Intervention under the NBP. Some 12% of Roscommon premises are still due to receive high speed broadband under eir’s ongoing planned rural deployment. Figures for Galway show that there are over 134,000 premises in County Galway of which 29% of premises (c. 39,000) are relying on the NBP. The remaining 71% of premises (c. 95,000) will be served by commercial operators. 11% of Galway premises are still due to receive high speed broadband under eir’s planned rural deployment.
“Accessing quality broadband is a core requirement for small and medium sized businesses across the country. Let’s be clear the provision of quality broadband for rural Ireland is not a luxury, it is a matter of necessity for survival.
“The wheels have come off the entire National Broadband Plan. Since Minister Naughten took office in 2016, every façade of the Plan has been diminished and downgraded, and any opportunity to reduce the State’s involvement has been taken.
“How many years will it take to connect the 540,000 households and businesses?
A fully independent review of the Broadband Plan to date as was voted for by the Dáil last February needs to be delivered by Minister Naughten,” concluded Murphy
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