Dep Lisa Chambers says she is unsurprised by the latest reports on broadband speeds, which have found that Mayo is one of the worst served counties in the country.
The surveys published this week revealed that seven out of 10 firms across Ireland are hampered by poor broadband.
“Anyone living or working in Mayo is more than familiar with the sub-standard broadband service that is available here," Dep Chambers said. "It is a major issue for businesses who are struggling to remain competitive in an online environment, and are unable to undertake basic services like sending emails because the broadband provision is so poor. The average broadband speed in Dublin is 45 Mbps, in Mayo it is 11.78 Mbps.
“The last government’s record on broadband is an absolute disgrace and the new administration isn’t dealing with the issue either," the Fianna Fáil TD added. "The National Broadband Plan has fallen well behind its original targets and instead of taking concrete action to ensure that broadband is rolled out, the Government is continuing to move the goalposts.
“The National Broadband Plan, first published in 2012, promised that high speed broadband would be available in 90 per cent of homes and businesses by the end of 2015, that was changed to 85 per cent by 2019, before a pledge of 100 per cent by 2022 was made. Now it looks like it will be 2023 before the plan will be delivered. This is a ridiculous situation.
“High speed broadband is no longer a luxury," she asserted. "It is now an essential service for homes and businesses right across the country. How are we expected to attract outside investment if the broadband capabilities are not up to scratch? This is another example of this Government’s complete neglect of rural Ireland.
"If the Minister is serious about improving broadband provision, he needs to outline what measures he will take to speed up the roll out of the National Plan, and whether he will commit to increasing the standards as set by the European Commission,” Deputy Chambers concluded.