Concerns over the lack of high speed broadband access for many areas in Laois have been raised in the Dáil.
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley this week questioned the Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten, in the Dáil on Laois broadband access.
“Progress has been very slow on the broadband roll out to rural Ireland. The National Broadband Plan was first announced in 2012. I welcome the separate scheme where Eir are currently connecting 5,063 households across Laois. But there are 12,721 homes in Laois and 12,420 homes in Offaly that are not being covered under the Eir scheme and who will have to wait for the National Broadband Plan,” Deputy Stanley said.
Deputy Stanley said he expressed concern about the route being taken with the procurement process.
“The Government committed to having all homes connected by 2020, but we know this will not happen,” he said.
“This is a really serious issue. Some of the affected areas in Laois are Coolnabacca in Timahoe, Luggacurren area, Graiguecullen, Fisherstown, Kilcruise, Spink, Rosenallis, Clonaghadoo and Geashill. Many people are within a stone’s throw of the Eir roll out but still can’t get access to high speed broadband.
“This is affecting jobs, students, farmers and small businesses. Out of a relatively small workforce in Laois between 11,000 and 12,000 people commute out of the county to work every day. We need to get some of these people working in the county,” Deputy Stanley said.
“We have to get this resolved this year and it must be prioritised by the Government. There will be little or no rural development without this basic vital infrastructure in place,” he said.
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