Irish broadband rollout ‘needs to be fast-tracked’ header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

Homes and businesses in Ireland without broadband access could be forced to wait for at least another five or six years as Government roll-out plans struggle to gather pace.

Around 15 per cent of the Irish population currently live in broadband blackspots (roughly 750,000 people), according to the International Telecommunications Union, which collects information on internet access in individual countries.

Rural development minister Heather Humphreys is currently responsible for rolling-out broadband across Ireland but is keen to strike a deal which would share duties amongst four different companies.

If completed, no single minister or body would be accountable for failing to connect barren properties.

This worries Denis Naughten, TD for the Roscommon–Galway constituency where more than 50,000 properties are currently completely offline.

"The planned roll-out of rural broadband which is to be completed by 2021 needs to be fast-tracked," he commented.

"The current pace of the rollout of the Government's high-speed broadband plan for rural areas will see 64 per cent of premises in Co Roscommon and 47 per cent of premises in Co Galway have to wait until 2020 or 2021 for decent broadband.

“This is just not good enough."

Even one of the company directors involved in the deal has described the tender process as “long [and] drawn out, and continues to be so.”

A more immediate solution to those going day-to-day without broadband access is satellite broadband.

This works much the same way as Sky TV where a small dish attached to your property receives information which is transferred to an indoor modem and wireless router.

Download speeds can rival that of hardwired internet providers, reaching up to 22Mps for our Tooway customers, which is fast enough to easily handle live streaming and other bandwidth-intensive tasks.

Posted by Craig Roberts