CENSUS SHOWS A TALE OF TWO DIAL-UPS IN BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY

Seán Sherlock TD
06 April 2017

Labour Communications spokesperson, Seán Sherlock TD, has said that today’s Census figures highlight the gulf that exists between urban and rural broadband services.

According to the figures, around 76 per cent of urban households were connected to broadband in 2016, compared with around 61 per cent of households in rural parts of the country.

There were also more rural than urban households recorded as having no internet connection.

Deputy Sherlock commented:

“These figures show that in five years, an extra 114 thousand Irish households received broadband, reflecting a rise of just under 7 per cent.

“Yet just this week, the Minister for Communications said that in another two years, every household in the country would have high-speed access.

“If we couldn’t bridge the gap in five years, what hope do we have in two, when the tender process continues to change?

“While the Minister has hailed the National Broadband Plan as a victory for rural Ireland, the Census has shown that rural areas continue to lag behind urban Ireland. We have a tale of two dial-ups with no end in sight.

“We also have no link as to where the new premises to receive broadband will be, with the terminology suggesting it won’t reach areas outside of the metropolitan capitals. Those seeking to establish businesses and run them in rural Ireland will continue to be left behind.

“Overall, today’s Census figures show an increase of just under 7 per cent in broadband connectivity for rural Ireland, which is just not good enough.”

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