Thursday, June 04, 2015

Welcome for broadband initiative comes with a warning

A warning that the latest initiative to provide high speed broadband services to rural communities in south Kildare should not be just another 'false dawn' has been issued by local FG TD Martin Heydon, writes Brian Byrne.

He was giving a cautious welcome to the confirmation by Eircom that they plan to significantly expand fibre service

“This is the number one concern in many areas of rural south Kildare and one that I have raised with both Eircom and the Department of Energy, Communications and Natural Resources many times over the past four years," he says. "A survey I undertook last year highlighted that 92 percent of respondents in rural areas of Kildare South did not have a broadband service that was suitable for their needs. I welcome any initiatives that will see quality high speed broadband available to residents of these areas as soon as possible, but these residents have seen many false dawns and now just need to see results."

Eircom confirmed today that the areas concerned are Calverstown, Narraghmore, Kilmeade, Brannockstown, Mageney, Blacktrench, Coolcarrigan and Cherryville, which all need high speed Broadband and need it quickly. "They are all areas that were highlighted in the Government National Broadband Plan which aims to provide quality high speed broadband in areas where commercial investment has not happened. Today's announcement will take these areas out of the Government Broadband Plan as they will now be seen as being catered for by a commercial operator and so not in need of state investment. I don’t mind who provides the services to these areas as long as it happens quickly."

The Eircom solution will see fibre to fibre broadband from Eircom with potential speeds of up to 1gbps which is greater than anything available up to now but the deputy said there's a real need to ensure these communities don’t lose out and this service is provided quicker than the state intervention which is committed to at present.