Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West, Éamon Ó Cuív has welcomed the progress being made on the National Broadband Plan but warns more needs to be done as more people are moving to work inrural areas due to the Covid pandemic and the growth of remote working.
In response to a PQ the Minister for Climate and Communications informed Deputy Ó Cuív that design work is complete or ongoing in targeted townlands across 21 counties and that it is hoped to pass 120,000 houses with fibre in the next year.
“I have been informed by the Minster that the laying of fibre should commence shortly with the first fibre to the home connections expected around December this year. I am disappointed though, that the most rural areas will be the last to be connected. I was particularly disappointed that the minister did not address this issue and the need for priority to be given to the islands in his reply.
“What we need to see is the project completed 100% in the next five years and not seven. Given the delay rolling out the contract, it is the only correct way forward. It is likely that the overall all cost of the project will now be considerably down on the €2.9bn cost being quoted last year for this scheme due to the high demand for FTTH (Fibre to the Home) being manifested in rural Ireland
“Covid 19 has proven the importance of FTTH for the development of the country and for allowing people to work from home all round the country,” concluded the Deputy.