Broadband is as important as electricity
Broadband is as important to householders and business owners nowadays as electricity, according to one member of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council.
Cllr Barbara Anne Murphy, made the comment following a presentation from Wexford County Council's Head of Communications, David Minogue.
'Broadband has become as important as electricity,' said Cllr Murphy.
'We all need it but so many people cannot access it,' she added.
She also commented that in some instances broadband is 'passing by the door' but people still can't access it.
She highlighted her own area of Bunclody as being of particular concern and said that one local company had experienced difficulties recently and had to use a 'mobile device' to access the net so that wages could be paid to around 50 employees.
'They had to use a mobile device to do their banking so that staff could be paid,' said Cllr Murphy.
'It's imperative that we have decent broadband,' she said.
She also criticised situations where broadband is going by people's homes but connections have not been made meaning they can't access it.
She said there is a danger that businesses could close because of it.
'It's very important that businesses get quality broadband,' she added.
Cllr Paddy Kavanagh said he knew of a company that applied to Eir to be connected to high speed broadband but was told no.
He then asked officials what the situation is in such circumstances, where a company is willing to employ a contractor to carry out the required work to enable it to connect to the closest high speed network hub - using existing poles.
Cllr Kavanagh also asked if 5G would be a viable alternative for such businesses.
'This company would pay to put in their own line on existing poles,' he said.
In response Wexford County Council's Energy Officer, James Owens, said: 'If it's all their own land they're crossing then I suspect it would be possible.'
Mr Owens then informed the members that 5G connectivity is, at present, aspirational only and said: '5G is still a long way away.'
'Lots of people are selling '5G' ready but that's really 4G with a different label,' he added.
The members were then told that 5G will 'not go through walls' and is '100 times worse going through glass than 4G'.
The councillors were also told that a lot of the technology required for provision of 5G 'doesn't exist at the moment'.