Fine Gael Senator for Roscommon-Galway, Aisling Dolan, has welcomed news that Ballinasloe has been selected as one of only five prioritised areas for the rollout of broadband by National Broadband Ireland (NBI ).
The news was confirmed to the Senator by Ms Tara Collins, Chief Marketing Manager/Mr Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI who told the Fine Gael Senator that 634 schools and 16 marts in the roll-out area will be targeted by NBI for additional supports.
Senator Dolan raised concerns in the Seanad that people in South Roscommon and East Galway are finding it a challenge to work from home with poor broadband.
“There are so many blackspots in East Galway and South Roscommon; I am delighted to hear from NBI that Ballinasloe town and surrounding areas will all have access to broadband by Summer 2021. It is particularly welcome for schools, people working from home, businesses and farmers. This is on the scale of bringing electricity to households in the 50s.”
The 3,300 premises covers blackspot areas in Ballinasloe and immediate surrounding areas including Kellysgrove, Clontuskert, Lismany, Laurencetown, Moore, Ballydangan, Taughmaconnell, Caltra, Ahascragh, Aughrim and Kilconnell.
“In the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications Networks, Mr Hendrick highlighted the magnitude of this national infrastructure project which will cover 96 percent of the country and that these lines are built for scaling up again in the future.
“Mr Hendrick noted over 60 live broadband connection points and gave commitments to increasing the number of contractors to accelerate the survey stage. Under the digital agenda for Europe every home will have access to 100MBPS by 2025 and the aim of working towards a gigabyte future,” Senator Dolan remarked.
Senator Dolan said the investment is about equal access to fast broadband for everybody in Ireland.
“Twenty three per ent of the Irish population is in the roll-out area. Access to fast broadband means that our children and schools all have the same opportunities for learning in a digital age and that we can attract investment, industry and jobs. The digital world transforms our lives every day from farmers doing their Basic Farm Payments online to people working from home. This has all been accelerated with the impact of Covid-19 this year and people relying on fast broadband access – it cannot happen fast enough,” Senator Dolan asserted.
Dolan welcomes €355,000 for schools in Co. Roscommon
Meanwhile, the Fine Gael Senator has welcomed Summer Works scheme funding of €355,000 for seven schools in County Roscommon, one of which is Taughmaconnell NS.
This is part of an overall fund of €31 million announced by Minister for Education Norma Foley under the Summer Works Scheme for 2021.
The Fine Gael Spokesperson for Education, Senator Dolan stated that “maintenance projects such as roof works and toilet facilities have been funded for Taughmaconnell NS as well as additional primary schools throughout the county.
“The Summer Works scheme invests in our school buildings and follows on from €160m minor works funding to support schools facing impacts of Covid-19.”