The Ballinasloe area is one of the first in Ireland to be connected under the Government’s plan for high speed broadband, Senator Aisling Dolan has said.
Senator Dolan said: “Homes and businesses in the East Galway and South Roscommon area around Ballinasloe are soon to be among the first in Ireland to be connected under the Government’s National Broadband Plan.
“There are so many blackspots in East Galway and South Roscommon so this is particularly welcome for schools, people working from home, businesses, marts and farmers. This is on the scale of bringing electricity to households in the 50s.”
National Broadband Ireland confirmed 3,300 premises in the intervention area covering blackspots in Ballinasloe and immediate surrounding areas including Kellysgrove, Clontuskert, Lismany, Laurencetown Moore, Ballydangan, Taughmaconnell, Caltra, Ahascragh, Aughrim and Kilconnell
“This is great progress and is so important for the economic and social development of Roscommon & Galway as part of Fine Gael’s vision for balanced regional development.
“Rural broadband is so essential to this vision. It will encourage more industry and make our region a place to live and work for families especially those who are considering a better quality of life for their children and considering a move to Roscommon or Galway.
“This is why in the last Government, Fine Gael began the largest and most significant investment ever in rural Ireland through our National Broadband Plan. Broadband is coming to every town, village and community across the country and I am delighted Ballinasloe is one of the first areas to be connected.
Senator Dolan continued: “There are remote and rural areas in Roscommon and Galway where commercial providers will not invest. Since the pandemic, the parties that opposed Fine Gael’s Broadband Plan are belatedly coming around to the importance of remote working.
“The vision for The National Broadband Plan (NBP) was for it to enable new ways of working and increase the huge benefits that remote working offers to employers, employees and society more generally. This was a crucial part of our strategy to ensure balanced regional development across Ireland, long before the pandemic. But COVID-19 has shown us the demand for this is growing.
“The pandemic has changed the way in which we live, work and interact with each other. Covid has shown us that location is not as important anymore, connectivity is what counts.”
As part of the work to connect homes and businesses to high speed broadband, surveying is underway or completed in Kiltormer, Oatfield, Annagh, Kilconnell and Ahascragh.
The Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) initiative will see publicly accessible sites in rural and isolated parts of Roscommon and Galway provided with a temporary high-speed broadband connection by National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company contracted to deliver the NBP.
Senator Dolan concluded: “Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, it is great to see the installation of high speed broadband already underway in Ballinasloe and surveying works also underway nationwide over the winter months. While Covid-19 might have delayed us, it will not stop us and Fine Gael is determined that 1.1m people in 544,000 homes, 695 schools, 54,000 farms and 44,000 business in the country will be online under the NBP so that no part of the country is left behind.”