Minister to roll out broadband scheme for rural areas
COMMUNICATIONS Minister Pat Rabbitte has confirmed the establishment of a rural broadband scheme that's aiming to plug the remaining gaps in the country's internet coverage.
The scheme, which complements a previous national broadband project undertaken by 3 Ireland after it won the contract to provide the service, is to be run in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
It will operate under the Rural Development Programme and will be co-funded by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development.
The scheme aims to ensure universal broadband access is provided in Ireland by the end of 2012.
Even following the completion of the National Broadband Scheme (NBS), there remains a number of often isolated premises that cannot get broadband services, though the number is thought to be less than 1pc of households.
Mr Rabbitte said the new scheme would identify the remaining premises that have not been able to procure a broadband service.
He added that the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will be accepting applications for a three month period from today from people who want to apply for broadband access.
Those applicants must live outside areas covered under the NBS and confirm they can't secure a service from existing providers.