Independent TD Mattie McGrath has castigated the acting Minister for Communications Alex White for overseeing what he has termed a disastrous stewardship of the roll-out of rural broadband. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister confirmed that the State’s National Broadband Plan may not be delivered for at least six years.
“Yet again we are witnessing an absurd delay in the roll-out of a Scheme that was supposed to be up and running by 2020
It is now clearly apparent that no real appreciation of the fundamental importance of broadband for rural Ireland has ever really existed at government level.
It is being reported in today’s Irish Independent that this setback means the completion of the roll-out plan may not happen until 2022 or later – two years after the Government’s promised delivery date and 10 years after the scheme was first launched.
This will almost certainly mean the complete inability of rural communities and businesses to survive given how modern payment and educational systems are increasingly broadband dependent.
We are talking here about what amounts to an almost deliberate policy to stagnate the growth and vitality of thousands of rural communities.
It is simply infuriating given the endless commitments we have had to endure listening to from both this acting Minister and his predecessor Pat Rabbitte,” concluded Deputy McGrath.