Deputy Declan Breathnach.
Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach has slammed Communications Minister Denis Naughten after it emerged that there is still no date for the roll out of the National Broadband Plan to isolated and rural communities.
Breathnach says this is indicative of this Government’s dismissive attitude to rural Ireland that is resulting in a huge digital divide between rural and urban areas.
“Minister Naughten’s latest revelation that he doesn’t expect any progress on the roll out of broadband to 542,000 households in rural communities for at least 18 months is astounding” Breathnach said.
“Considering the original deadline for completion of the National Broadband Plan was 2018, it’s a farce that rural areas depending on it have no idea when to expect the roll out of the NBP.
“The fact that Minister Naughten is claiming Eir’s commercial contract as his own speaks volumes about the lack of action by the Government.
“He admitted in the Dáil that he does not have an idea as to when the NBP will be rolled out. This is incredible and will leave rural homes and businesses across Louth with second rate broadband access for at least another two years.
“The constant delays to the National Broadband Plan are bordering on the ridiculous at this point. The Minister seems to be pushing back the deadline for completion every couple of months.
“All the while, rural communities are seeing a huge digital divide emerge in their broadband provision. Unfortunately is doesn’t appear as if the Minister will deliver on this plan any time soon."