Minister fails to give firm deadlines on broadband roll out for Mayo

44% of homes & businesses in Mayo stuck in “on-going procurement process”

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says homes and businesses in Co. Mayo could be waiting for years before they are connected to a decent broadband service. She made the comments following correspondence from the Minister for Communications, which failed to give any clear indications as to when high speed broadband would be made available.

Deputy Chambers explained, “Despite asking very specific questions on a timeline and completion dates for the roll-out of broadband across the county, Minister Naughten has referred to his agreement with Eir to provide high speed broadband to 300,000 premises by the end of 2018, however 44% of homes and businesses in Mayo are in areas which are still the subject of “an ongoing procurement process”.

“It’s now more than five years since the National Broadband Plan was first announced. The fact that the contract for the national broadband service has still not been signed is beyond a joke. The Government has pushed out the timeframe for the roll-out time and time again and I have serious concerns that it may be years before rural parts of Mayo are connected to broadband.

“Broadband is an essential service – homes, schools and businesses all need access to it but this Government appears to be treating it as a luxury item. It comes as no surprise that Dublin and the commuter counties were all connected to high speed or fibre broadband years ago, while more rural counties are being left behind.

“Minister Naughten and his Department need to start getting serious on this issue and get the contracts awarded and signed off on. These excessive delays are simply not acceptable and I will be raising these concerns with the Minister until progress is made”.