Frank Feighan TD has this week heavily criticised the Minister for Communications after he admitted that nationwide broadband access won’t be available until late 2010.
“The Communications Minister has announced yet another delay in the provision of nationwide broadband. On many occasions the Minister has been on record as saying that we will have ubiquitous access to broadband by end of 2009. But the Minister has now told the Dáil that the National Broadband Scheme will not provide universal access for parts of the country that currently cannot access broadband service until till late 2010. This means that the one policy area where the Minister has committed to definite action is delayed again.
“The numbers accessing broadband services in Ireland are continuing to increase, but that is in spite of Government inaction and indecision in the telecommunications sector. There are a number of definite things that the Government needs to do to promote next generation broadband rollout and private sector investment in telecommunications infrastructure. But instead of making decisions, the Minister continues to prevaricate in discussion groups and forums that are an obstacle to immediate progress.
“The Department of Communications should undertake a detailed audit of all publicly and privately-owned telecommunications infrastructure so we can prioritise the gaps that need to be filled in the medium term. Here In North and West Roscommon and for many areas throughout South Leitrim, this progress report bodes very poorly and greatly undermines the whole area’s capacity to attract what new business is available to come on stream and continues to hamper existing business to compete on an equal basis.”