Friday 23 August 2019

Businesses suffer as 'no end in sight', says local shopkeeper

Frustrated: Gerry and Irene Rice say their shop in Sligo can’t take cards when the broadband isn’t working. Picture: Damien Eagers
Frustrated: Gerry and Irene Rice say their shop in Sligo can’t take cards when the broadband isn’t working. Picture: Damien Eagers
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

A Sligo business owner has branded the latest roll-out delay of the National Broadband Plan as "not surprising" and insisted that it is just another example of rural areas being left behind.

Gerry Rice, who runs a corner shop in rural Maugherow, Co Sligo, has previously spoken of the difficulties that come with trying to accept payment by card in his shop, if the internet isn't working.

This affects card payments and lottery tickets, among other things.

Mr Rice said his store, Dunleavys, had a full day recently where the broadband was down, meaning that they could only accept cash.

There were cases where customers were unable to pay by cash, so locals in such cases were told to pay for the goods the following day instead.

"It's one other thing that they're not prioritising or is not being considered in rural Ireland," Mr Rice said.

"If you knew when the finish line was, you could work around it; but now it seems that there's no end in sight or how far away is it at this stage?

"When in 2020 is it going to happen?

"It could be 2025 by the time it happens, there always seems to be a delay."

Referring to the northwest, he added: "We'll get it last."

Irish Independent

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