Carlow TD, Pat Deering
Fine Gael TD Pat Deering has announced that the Government is to invest €32m to deliver high-speed broadband to Carlow.
Deputy Deering was speaking as the Government announced the biggest initiative for rural Ireland since electrification.
"This is a landmark day for Carlow and for rural Ireland generally. The Government has today (Tue) signed a contract for the National Broadband Plan, which will see investment of €32m to bring high-speed broadband to 8,088 homes across Carlow," he said.
The National Broadband Plan is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises nationally, including 100,000 businesses and farms, and over 600 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.
Deputy Deering added: "The work will start immediately, with roll-out of broadband within eight weeks of today’s contract signing. Over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within four years.
"Quite simply this means rural communities in Carlow will not be left behind. All rural Ireland will get the same access to opportunities offered by high-speed broadband as those in urban areas.
"Fine Gael is delivering on transforming the country for the better and providing more opportunities to all.
"We have prioritised rural broadband not like others, including Fianna Fáil, who did everything they could to try and derail the plan in a bid to score political points.
"Unlike Fianna Fáil and others, Fine Gael is working to ensure rural Ireland is to the fore of the country’s progression and development.
"Fine Gael have a plan for the country, opposition and critics like Fianna Fáil provide only obstacles. They have no plan, no solutions and no policies for broadband for Ireland.
"As an initial step, the Government has published a list of approximately 300 community centres, schools, library hubs and local GAA halls in every county that will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband.
"In Carlow the locations are:
Altamont Gardens, Altamont, Tullow,
Carlow County Council, Borris Library, The Old School House, Lower Main Street, Borris,
Carlow County Council, Duckett's Grove House, Duckett's Grove, Palatine, Carlow,
Newtown Community Centre, Newtown, Borris,
Our Lady's National School, Nurney, Co. Carlow,
Rathanna Community Hall, Rathanna, Borris,
Saint Lazerian's School, Kildavin
"The goal here is to deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses all across the country. The delivery of high-speed broadband will be hugely beneficial to economic development and job creation in Carlow.
"It will open a whole range of possibilities including: flexible and remote working; smart health with online GP and nursing services and medical monitoring; cloud-based services and connected devices; smart farming opportunities; digital learning; and reliable electronic payments and bookings for businesses.
“We want to ensure that people who wish to live and work throughout county Carlow are supported in doing so. It is so crucial for balanced regional development that everyone in the country does not have to go to Dublin to work, study or start an enterprise," he added.