Government’s failure to deliver to previous broadband deadlines does not inspire confidence.

January 29th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen commenting following the announcement of the National Broadband Scheme by the Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said that “while I welcome the commitment to deliver broadband to Rural Ireland, this Governments record of failure to deliver to previous broadband targets and deadlines does not inspire confidence that this latest Scheme will deliver affordable broadband to all those communities here in County Clare who have been left behind and continue to sit in “Digital Darkness”.”While I welcome the commitment to deliver broadband to our Rural Communities the record of delivery to previous targets and deadlines by this Government does not inspire confidence. We are already six months behind schedule as this contract was due to be signed in July 2008 and now the Minister is promising “universal coverage by 2010.”

“’3’, is contracted to provide wireless broadband services in the National Broadband Scheme. Mobile broadband speeds are regularly far below the maximum advertised speed and I am concerned that this may not meet the needs particularly of those in the business context.”

“Furthermore, the Minister claims that Ireland will have “100% broadband coverage by 2010.” Many people here in County Clare are very unhappy with the failure to date to provide Broadband in their areas. Take for example the people of Kildysart and Ballynacally who were promised that broadband would be available in early 2008 and they are still waiting. There are huge black spots throughout the County from East to West Clare.”

“The Map of Clare provided by ‘3’ shows the areas to be covered under the current scheme and people can check themselves on line to see if their area is included in the latest scheme. However, I have already checked for several constituents of mine and I was very disappointed to note that they will not be included in the current proposal. I will be raising this matter on their behalf with Minister Ryan and if it is the case that their area is not covered it will make a mockery of the Ministers latest claims.”

“Affordable broadband availability is now more important than ever in rural Ireland. Businesses throughout the country are now looking at different ways of working and investing in a modern IT infrastructure is absolutely essential in order to facilitate these changed circumstances.”