Connaughton demands broadband scheme for rural post offices

Post offices across County Galway should receive high speed broadband in a scheme similar to that used to bring high-speed broadband to secondary schools, Fine Gael East Galway TD Paul Connaughton has demanded.

Dep Connaughton said post offices in areas such as Caltra, Kilkerrin, Lavally, Dunmore, Ballygar, and Headford, not properly served by broadband need to be prioritised during future roll-outs from the Department of Communications. He said high-speed broadband for post-offices there would allow for an enhanced range of services and provide a broadband hub for those areas.

"Broadband is no longer a luxury, it is an essential for all manner of businesses and those wishing to work from home," said Dep Connaughton. "The success of the school project could and should be replicated across the country in relation to post offices."

However Independent Galway West TD Noel Grealish has claimed that the county has been "virtually ignored" in the new rollout of broadband, as, apart from Galway city, "not one Galway town is among the 50 selected" to benefit from high speed broadband connectivity brought by a joint venture between Vodafone and the ESB.

“All over County Galway there are businesses that find it a daily struggle to cope with poor and unreliable internet connection and it’s seriously affecting the way they can do business," said Dep Grealish. "How can we hope to attract industry that would bring jobs that towns and villages are crying out for if they can’t even operate on the most basic of levels in terms of connectivity?"

Dep Grealish called this "an imbalance that must be addressed" and he is demanding Vodafone and the ESB "immediately add Galway towns to their list as a priority".

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