Taoiseach admits rural Ireland left behind in broadband race

High-speed broadband has been connected to about 340 premises in North Kerry, in enet’s showcase project for the National Broadband Plan.

The 1 Gigabit-per-second fibre broadband network is retailed locally to local householders and businesses by Bbnet, Kernet, Permanet and Ripplecom, with other service providers likely to offer the service also.

The network was launched last week by at Ballyseedy, Co Kerry, by Taoiseach Enda Kenny who said much of rural Ireland has been lagging behind for too long.

The North Kerry launch is part of the Government’s National Broadband Plan to deliver high speed broadband to all non-commercial rural areas by 2020.

According to enet, construction and activation of its fibre broadband network in North Kerry cost €650,000.

Communications Minister Alex White has said the procurement process for state intervention to provide high quality, high speed broadband to all premises in Ireland that may not be served through commercial investment was launched in December.

Members of the public can insert their Eircode, and/or address, or scroll through the high speed broadband 2020 map to see if commercial providers are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband services by the end of 2016 to their area, or if they are in the target areas for the proposed state intervention (expected within five years of contract awards).

The national broadband plan target is 85% of addresses in Ireland having access to high speed services by 2018, through the combination of commercial investment and State intervention.

“Providing reliable high speed broadband to every premises in the Intervention Area will support employment in farming, micro-enterprises and Government’s regional enterprise policies, ” said Mr White.

“It is envisaged that access to high-speed broadband coupled with the measures being introduced under the national digital strategy will maximise growth potential in rural areas by encouraging businesses to make better use of the internet so that they can reach wider markets, grow their business and create jobs.”

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