There are 120,000 homes and businesses in counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon that do not have access to broadband, according to figures published in the Irish Independent on Tuesday.
Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice described the news as a “scandal”.
“Is it any wonder that the employment figures in the western area are not growing when we see the shocking number of homes and businesses that have no access to broadband services?” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.
Broadband issues in the region were detrimental to job creation, he added.
“It is clear from the figures that the west is a blackspot when it comes to broadband coverage. Is it any wonder that this region is the only one in the country where there is no rise in employment figures when businesses don’t have access to a proper broadband service?” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.
“How can we attract employers to the region when, in many cases, they have no broadband service and in many areas a poor mobile phone service as well?”
He said that the Government must address the matter urgently.
“This is a situation that simply cannot go on if we are to be serious about tackling the problems in rural Ireland,” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.
“Unless we improve the broadband and mobile service in the region, then we are wasting our time talking about creating employment.”