High speed fibre optic broadband planned for rural communities

Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten

Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten

National Broadband Ireland expects to have fibre optic broadband available to rural homes in Ballinasloe and South Roscommon by Easter next says local Independent TD and architect of the National Broadband Plan, Deputy Denis Naughten.

The sub-contractors for National Broadband Ireland have completed the mapping work for the areas around the town of Ballinasloe such as Taughmaconnell, Ballydangan, Creagh, Moore, Clonfad, Kilconnell, Ahascragh, Oatfield, Annagh and Kiltormer.

The company expects to be on the ground commencing works in the area within the coming months, with homes being able to connect to the new network providing 500mbps super high-speed broadband by next Easter.

“While this timeline is subject to any potential delays as a result of Covid 19, to date it has not delayed the work in this part of East Galway or South Roscommon.

“It is now important that homeowners make sure they can connect to the fibre when it comes to their door, by ensuring there are no trees etc blocking the route from their home to the nearest telephone pole or that any ducts are free of dirt and debris.

“It is particularly important that people check this out now because they will have their homes connected to the new state-of-the-art fibre network at a time of the year when tree & hedge cutting will be prohibited,” Deputy Naughten asserted.

New law will stop increase in pension age to 67

Meanwhile, Deputy Naughten has confirmed that the Dáil Social Protection Committee of which he is Chairperson, was informed this week that legislation will be introduced by Government in the coming weeks to retain the pension age at 66.

Deputy Naughten welcomed the Minister’s comments as there are many older people who are about to turn 66 early in 2021 who are extremely concerned about this looming deadline

“The fact is that people paid into their pension in good faith and as a result have a legitimate expectation over when they will receive their State pension.

“I believe that no-one should be forced to retire against their wishes at the age of 65 or, alternatively, made to keep working until the age of 68 in order to receive their pension.

“I do understand that there are a number of people who may want to continue to work until the age of 68 to pay additional pension contributions and I believe they should be facilitated to do so if that is their wish.

“I also believe that nobody should be forced to retire at 65 and if this does happen to them, they must be able to access their pension or an equivalent payment.

“While the Minister’s announcement to postpone any change to the pension age provides reassurance to older people who are about to retire, I look forward to engagement with the soon to be established Commission on Pensions on how best to develop our pension system in Ireland,” Deputy Naughten asserted.

 

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