Sligo- Leitrim Fine Gael TD, Frank Feighan, has said that difficulties faced by some workers with their broadband speeds and access whilst working remotely during the COVID19 outbreak emphasise the obvious and urgent need for greater broadband connectivity in rural Ireland.
The TD highlighted this as proof of why Fine Gael’s National Broadband Plan is so badly needed on the ground in rural Ireland.
Deputy Feighan said: “Many people are now working from home who never would have done so previously. Initially it was challenging to come to terms with new workplace surroundings and with all the technological requirements needed at home. However, for the most part, as things have settled down during the outbreak, workers have been able to work from home more easily and some report they are finding it beneficial.
“As a result, there is now a new opportunity for businesses and for families alike to experience a better work/life balance when COVID-19 subsides and when work returns to normal. I believe this will be one of the very few positives Irish society will gain from this challenging time and the ‘new normal’ period ahead.
“This experience has also helped people to re-consider living in rural Ireland and working from home. However, without high speed broadband access available to them this would be next to impossible.
“A number of people have contacted me to highlight their concerns with lack of access and very slow speeds in certain areas outside of the Commercial Areas and inside the State Intervention Area identified in the National Broadband Plan.
“Last year, we witnessed the turning of our National Broadband Plan into a political football by those who are now calling for greater access across the country. At times its very viability was called into question.
“Now more than ever we see that the National Broadband Plan must be delivered. Broadband access is as important today as electricity was to the home sixty years ago.”