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01 Dec 2021

Longford's broadband rollout delay is ‘not rocket science’, meeting is told

BROADBAND

Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan is coming under mounting calls to speed up the rollout of broadband across County Longford

Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan is coming under mounting calls to speed up the rollout of broadband across County Longford.

Cllr Paul Ross re-ignited a debate which has been a regular bone of contention at a meeting of Longford County Council last week.

“This is a huge issue,” he told councillors, implying it could be another five years before the vast majority of Longford homes are connected to the high-speed network.

“The reality is when a house goes up for sale, one of the first questions asked is if broadband is there.

“It's not rocket science.”

Cllr Gerry Hagan concurred, stating high speed internet access had become so essential in today's remote working climate it could be viewed as a utility for households.

Cllr PJ Reilly likened the growing need for the universal rollout of broadband to that of the State's rural electrification scheme during the 1950s and 60s.

The concerns aired at October's monthly council meeting come after the Dáil heard last week of how Ireland's broadband plan is currently eight months behind schedule.

Independent TD Denis Naughten said 75,000 fewer homes will have access to the high-speed broadband network at the end of next year than was planned when the contract was signed in November 2019.

Local authority bosses are now expected to write to Mr Ryan to obtain an up to date position concerning the county's current broadband connectivity status.

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