Broadband plan process will look at prioritising blackspots

The Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, has reiterated that the National Broadband Plan process will look at prioritising broadband blackspots.

Ahead of the Christmas break his colleague, and local TD, Gabrielle McFadden said that she strove to highlight the importance of prioritising areas with the poorest coverage in this National Broadband Plan. The plan should focus on ensuring that rural Ireland enjoys similar opportunities to urban areas in terms of access to high speed connectivity. Which is why she believe areas with poor or no broadband must be prioritised.

“The broadband deficit is huge in many rural areas. There are many areas in Longford and Westmeath which either have no broadband or patchy connectivity at best,” she said.

Minister McHugh told members of the Dáil that part of the necessary analysis for the National Broadband Plan will be to examine the feasibility of identifying and prioritising particular parts of the country that might be considered black spots in terms of overall quality of existing broadband coverage.

Minister McHugh went on to say that a detailed intervention strategy will be submitted to Government in mid-2015. A detailed procurement process will then be undertaken in order to select a potential preferred bidder or bidders towards the end of 2015.

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