independent

Monday 19 November 2018

Fine Gael says rural broadband rollout plans still on track

Minister Michael D’Arcy: no impact on Wexford rollout
Minister Michael D’Arcy: no impact on Wexford rollout

Fine Gael says the withdrawal of Eir from the national broadband rollout programme will not impact the timeframe for Wexford.

However, Fianna Fail says the Eir withdrawal means that the government's ability to deliver major infrastructural projects is in serious doubt.

Even before Eir's decision, the broadband rollout in parts of Wexford has slowed to a crawl, with some semi-rural areas that had been due to have the service rolled out more than a year ago, still no nearer to getting it delivered as plans to build cabinets to serve peripheral areas were pushed further and further back.

Minister Michael D'Arcy said that while it is unfortunate that Eir has pulled out of the process, 'our government colleague Denis Naughten has assured us that it will not impact the rollout timeframe for Wexford'.

'Minister Naughton has given a guarantee to homes and businesses that are frustrated with waiting for broadband, saying we will now probably get shovels on the ground quicker because there is only one consortium left in the process.

'I will be in constant communication with Minister Naughten, insisting that the broadband rollout for Wexford urgently takes place. It must be delivered,' he said. Meanwhile, Fianna Fail says The decision by Eir to withdraw from the NBP represents a damning indictment of Fine Gael in office. Rural communities up and down the country have been kept waiting for seven years for the roll out of high speed broadband by this government which it accused of not being serious about rural Ireland and rural communities.

Enet is now the sole bidder for the NBP tender and has confirmed that it is still committed to the project.

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