Thomas Pringle TD

Broadband rollout to Donegal threatened by Government’s decision to drop 300,000 homes – Pringle

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Press Release – April 4th, 2017
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Reacting to Minister Naughten’s decision that Eir take over 300,000 homes initially covered by the National Broadband Plan, Deputy Pringle claims this move could cause even more delays for Donegal and says the deal raises serious ethical questions.
“Delays of up to a decade can be expected if the Government’s deal with Eir goes ahead. That’s because the Government is giving Eir the cream of the crop in terms of houses with easier accessibility which the Government was initially taking on as part of the plan.
“Most of Donegal’s houses are part of the remaining 500,000 homes to be covered by the Government’s Plan but questions are being raised as to whether companies will want to be left with these most challenging homes in terms of rolling out fibre broadband. On the Government’s updated Broadband map, Donegal is almost entirely yellow, indicating little broadband coverage to date.
“The only way to get companies to take on the most difficult houses is if the Government increases its subsidies to assist them. What this means in terms of cost raises many questions the Minister needs to answer. The best interest of rural communities is at stake here if companies decide to pull out altogether which would halt the National Broadband Plan altogether.
“For me, the priority is that broadband rollout is carried out to rural communities including islands and remote areas but I’m wary of any sweet deals between the Government and private companies that would put this venture in jeopardy. We need answers to these questions and I hope to have a chance to bring up these concerns in the Dáil during the week” concludes Pringle.
ENDS

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