School network must be a national broadband priority

07 May 2019

Ireland South Labour candidate Sheila Nunan, commenting on the National Broadband Plan has said that schools must be a priority for the rollout of the new network, and that everywhere she travels across the country the same message is reported about the need to connect rural Ireland to the 21st century. Nunan will be raising this at the IFA Ireland South debate tonight in Kilkenny.

Sheila said:

“On the campaign trail I am constantly hearing of the difficulties of schools, businesses and homes in getting access to high speed broadband – whether through the network already in place, or those that have been waiting too long already for the National Broadband Plan.

“With the Cabinet due to sign off today on the €3 billion National Broadband Plan, the proposed rollout plan means that many homes will only see connections from 2020, and it could take up to 7 years for all to be connected.

“Broadband is not just needed for dispersed communities across Ireland South, but it is vital for the network of schools who are poorly served by current provision. A 21st century education needs 21st century broadband.

“I am calling on the Government to ensure that schools have first priority for connection to the new network that will be rolled out. I hope they can give us that commitment.

“While our preference would have been for the infrastructure to have been delivered through the ESB network that is already owned by the State a different approach is being pursued.

“With that plan now going ahead, prioritising our children and their schools in that rollout is a common sense proposal.”

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