The National Broadband Plan was launched to much fanfare in 2012. The scheme promised to bring internet speeds in Ireland up to the best international standards.
Instead, we have been going backwards, lagging behind most of our EU neighbours, a technological tortoise trying to chase the hare.
Poor broadband infrastructure is most acute in rural areas. Indeed, a survey today by Pure Telecom reveals that
almost half of Irish schoolchildren are being held back in their educational development due to poor internet at school, most of them outside of Dublin.
What is needed is some joined up thinking to bring more cohesion to broadband development. At present we have one minister — Michael Ring — responsible for rural development, including rural broadband, another — Denis Naughten — charged with developing communications nationally, and Education Minister Richard Bruton who oversees the digital strategy for schools.
As every schoolchild knows, three into one doesn’t go. We need a dedicated minister to take on the job and run with it.
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