'Historic day for Ireland': Government sign contract for National Broadband Plan

'Historic day for Ireland': Government sign contract for National Broadband Plan
Communications Minister Richard Bruton: This is the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification.

The government has signed the contract for the National Broadband Plan this morning.

It aims to bring high speed internet to 1.1m people, largely in rural Ireland.

Cabinet Ministers met from early this morning to sign off on the National Broadband Plan contract.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton has tweeted that today is an "historic day for Ireland."

He says it's the biggest investment in country areas since rural electrification.

"It will ensure rural communities will not be left behind and will be guaranteed the same opportunities as urban areas," he added.

The first homes under this project are likely to be connected next year while work is set to begin this year on broadband hubs, which are communal workspaces in rural Ireland with access to high speed internet.

The project will cost almost three billion euro, which has led to debates surrounding the ownership of the network when it's complete.

Those calls become more difficult for opposition parties from today, once the contract is signed.

Former Communications Minister Denis Naughten echoed this sentiment, saying "will be the turning point for the revitalisation of rural Ireland”.

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