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All primary schools to be connected to high speed broadband by end of year – Kehoe

National Broadband Plan continues to deliver transformative change to rural Ireland

13th November 2023 - Paul Kehoe

Every primary school in the country is to be connected to high-speed broadband by the end of this year, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Paul Kehoe, said the National Broadband Plan (NBP) rollout is expected to reach all 701 primary schools in the country, including those on the islands, by Christmas.

“This gives equal access to all the benefits of high speed broadband, no matter where a child is going to primary school. The benefits are endless, from new, cutting-edge educational methods, to bringing lessons to life through multi-media tools – this is a new age for Irish education.”

Deputy Kehoe, is Chair of the Education Committee and sat at Cabinet, when Fine Gael was the only party to back and implement the NBP.

“Fine Gael faced down tough opposition to the NBP from all and were accused of political opportunism. Indeed, Minister Eamon Ryan said that the NBP process gave rural homes an unfair advantage. Sinn Féin was consistently critical of the plan, describing it as ‘chaotic and farcical’ and voting against it. The rural Independents were also against it.”

The Wexford TD was speaking ahead of Fine Gael’s Special Conference, which takes place on Saturday, November 18th next in the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, which focus on how the party is delivering for rural Ireland.

“Today, however, over 60,000 premises nationwide, who would otherwise have had no access to high speed internet, are now already connected, while over 200,000 premises spread across all 26 counties are available for immediate connection. That’s over 200,000 homes, farms, and businesses across rural Ireland which can connect to the service in just 10 days if they wish. And by the end of this year, we expect to have every primary school connected – providing the best educational start for every child,” Deputy Kehoe continued.

“Farmers have benefitted through smart farming which allows increased production quality, remote monitoring of livestock, lower operational costs, reduced impact on the environment, better security technology and easier interaction with State bodies online.

“And crucially, broadband has enabled remote working, which was a lifeline to so many workers and employers alike during the Covid pandemic. Since then, the world of work has evolved and the provision of high-speed broadband now allows people to have more flexible working arrangements and to reduce their carbon footprint and urban sprawl by cutting down on commutes to large cities.

“ComReg data saw fibre broadband subscriptions this year increase from last year, giving homes, schools, farmers, healthcare providers and businesses even greater scope to grow. Without a National Broadband Plan, none of this progress would have been possible, and the work continues, demonstrating Fine Gael’s commitment to a thriving rural Ireland,” Deputy Paul Kehoe concluded.

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