Fianna Fáil wants to axe the Government’s plan to provide high-speed broadband to every home, farm and business in Ireland, according to Fine Gael TD Peter Burke.
Deputy Burke, a chartered accountant and Fine Gael TD for Longford Westmeath, said, “Micheál Martin has confirmed that a Fianna Fail Government would not sign the contract for the National Broadband Plan. That’s the plan to ensure equal access to high-speed broadband services of the future, no matter where you live, work or farm in Ireland.
“The Government this week decided that every home and business nationwide, no matter their location, will have access to high speed broadband. This means that the 1.1 million people who currently do not have access to commercial broadband providers will be able to access the same services as people in urban areas in the future.
“This will make Ireland one of the first countries worldwide to ensure that rural areas have the same opportunity as urban areas, but Fianna Fáil are against this,” Deputy Burke said.
“Micheál Martin has confirmed that Fianna Fáil wants to axe this plan. If in Government, they wouldn’t sign the contract. Micheál Martin says rural Ireland must wait.
“What’s most disturbing is that they don’t have an alternative plan which would work. They have some half-baked notion to go back to square one, to start all over again, ignoring the fact that we have just been through a very rigorous selection process.
“Micheál, this would put the plan back by years, there is no guarantee that it would work, and it would mean that thousands of homes, farms and businesses would be left out. It does not guarantee high-speed broadband for all parts of the country,” Deputy Burke said.