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6th November 2019
November 6th 2019
Microsoft president Brad Smith has reiterated his warning that Ireland faces a damaging future if it doesn't fix rural broadband quickly.
Speaking to the 70,000-strong Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Mr Smith said that a million Irish people are left without access to modern high speed broadband, a state that threatens the country’s progress.
The speech followed a Sunday Independent interview where Mr Smith warned that areas outside Dublin, Cork and other cities would face an “extraordinarily difficult” future for jobs and development without broadband access.
“It’s really important that Ireland gets the benefit of this,“ he said.
“With roughly a million people in those areas, it’s critical to close the gap.
"If a rural community doesn’t have access to broadband, it makes it extraordinarily difficult to attract new jobs. It even makes it difficult to sustain the jobs that are there. And it makes it impossible to take advantage of advances for everything from healthcare to education.”
Mr Smith’s warning comes as the government nears the signing of a contract to begin the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, a state-subsidised program to connect half a million rural homes and businesses to high speed fibre broadband.
Communications Minister Richard Bruton has indicated that the contract, with David McCourt’s National Broadband Ireland, is imminent.
Minister for Digital Development and Galway East TD Sean Canney made the call at a recent EU conference on telecommunications and digital sector video.READ MORE
Navigating through the current challenges brought upon us by Covid-19, we are reminded of our reliance on connectivity and technology to go about our daily lives.READ MORE
NBI contractors have been on the ground since January surveying townlands in Cork, Galway, Cavan and Limerick. This involves physically walking the routes and documenting images, notes and measurements of the current infrastructure - poles, cables and underground ducts - in each area.READ MORE