EU commissioners back rural broadband plan

Provision of high-speed fibre broadband will be very beneficial for rural Ireland, say IFA general secretary Pat Smith and IFA head of IT development Ethan Cleary.

The IFA executives welcomed commitments made in a meeting yesterday by EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Regional Development Corina Creu and Minister for Communications Alex White.

Mr Smith welcomed the financial commitment the commissioners have given to supporting the National Broadband Plan.

He said it was reassuring that, under the direction of ministers Alex White and Ann Phelan, the Department of Communications is on track to deliver on the Government’s commitment to provide a high-speed service to all homes and businesses by 2020.

Mr Smith said that providing fibre broadband across rural Ireland would enable new services that would help address issues impacting on rural people and farmers, including rural security and farm safety.

Meanwhile, ploughing venue Ratheniska, Co Laois, was unveiled as the pilot location for a high-speed broadband plan by Siro, a joint venture of ESB and Vodafone. ESB has a training centre in nearby Portlaoise.

In May, Siro announced plans to invest €450m on high-speed fibre optic cables for 50 Irish towns: Cavan, Dundalk, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Carrigaline, Tralee, Navan, Letterkenny and Wexford are set to receive its new service this autumn.

Independent price comparison website Switcher.ie said the 1GB network will be four times faster than those in Dublin and that it will transform communities.


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