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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.
Deputy Denis Naughten has welcomed the fact that the first three broadband connection points in Creeve, Gorlaganny and Tulsk have now gone live, providing high-speed broadband hotspots in those communities.READ MORE
Clare TD Joe Carey said, “Broadband Connection Points are among the first premises to be connected under the National Broadband Plan and are located in some of the most isolated and rural communities in the county.READ MORE
Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD and the Mayor of Kerry, Cllr. Patrick Connor-Scarteen have today launched Kerry’s first Connected Communities Hub or ‘Broadband Connection Point’ at the historic Cable Station, in Knightstown, Valentia. The launch took place by webinar having regard to current public health guidance.READ MORE