Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten says that New Inn, a village in East Galway, will have broadband speeds as fast as New York by the end of this year.
The Roscommon-Galway TD said that eight out of ten households will have broadband by the end of this year, and that the vast majority of Irish villages, like New Inn in Galway, will have access to up to 1,000 Mbps high-speed broadband.
“Villages like New Inn in east Galway will now have broadband speeds equivalent to what is available in New York City,” said the Independent TD.
“When I became Minister 21 months ago, five out of ten homes in this country had access to high-speed broadband. Today that figure is seven out of ten.
“I gave a commitment to the people of rural Ireland that I would not allow this process to continue one minute longer than was absolutely necessary in order to deliver a future-proofed broadband network for every place name in rural Ireland.
“Standing on the eve of delivering that, an historic project for the economic development of rural Ireland, I do not intend to allow politics to push this procurement process out further.
“I intend to supply real high-speed broadband to rural Ireland, and I have the confidence that this contract and its infrastructure will stand the test of time.
“I believe there is unanimous support in this House for the speedy and efficient delivery of the national broadband plan. Now is the time to continue that momentum, not the time for indecision, reflection, point scoring or diversion.”
However, the plan was criticised by some opposition TDs, including Sinn Féin’s Brian Stanley.
“The broadband plan to connect 542,000 homes and businesses with high-speed broadband is in complete disarray,” he said.
“With only one bidder left in the procurement process the Government has lost control. I have warned it of this outcome many times over the last two years.
“The seeds of the fiasco were sewn in the privatisation of the State telecom company, Telecom Éireann, in 1999, which has turned out to be a disaster.
“Investments were made with taxpayers’ money and it was built into a modern, state of the art communications network in the 1980s and 1990s by the workforce, only to be sold off under the Fianna Fáil Government in 1999. Sinn Féin said that the privatisation route with national broadband was not the way to go.”