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11th May 2020
Source: The Clare Echo
by Páraic McMahon -
Current working practices have reinforced the need for the €2.9bn National Broadband Plan, a Clare TD has highlighted.
Deputy Joe Carey (FG) has flagged that the difficulties faced by some workers relating to broadband speed and access while working remotely has stressed the need for greater connectivity in rural Ireland.
“Many people are now working from home who never would have done so previously. Initially it was challenging to come to terms with new workplace surroundings and with all the technological requirements needed at home. However, for the most part, as things have settled down during the outbreak, workers have been able to work from home more easily and some report they are finding it beneficial,” Carey stated.
He added, “As a result, there is now a new opportunity for businesses and for families alike to experience a better work/life balance when COVID-19 subsides and when work returns to normal. I believe this will be one of the very few positives Irish society will gain from this challenging time and the ‘new normal’ period ahead. This experience has also helped people to re-consider living in rural Ireland and working from home. However, without high speed broadband access available to them this would be next to impossible”.
Representations have been made to the Clarecastle native throughout the Clare constituency with concerns on lack of access “and very slow speeds in certain areas outside of the commercial areas and inside the State Intervention Area identified in the National Broadband Plan”.
Some homes are to be connected by the end of the year with work expected to commence on the Plan. Speaking this week, CEO of National Broadband Ireland Peter Hendrick outlined, “We are confident that the project can be delivered under budget and certainly earlier than we have committed.
“That’s our entire focus: let’s get this done as fast as possible for the best value as possible and that’s what our team are focused on,” Hendrick stated on Newstalk.
During the Covid-19 crisis, it is to become clearer than ever the need for rural broadband is not a frivolous desire for entertainment but essential for the business. The aim of the new government’s strategy to secure rural employment and entrepreneurship must be two-fold.READ MORE
The ComReg survey – which was conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes – shows that 77% of broadband users have seen an increase in the usage of their home broadband service since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced. This figure has increased from 61% in April 2020 when the survey was last conducted, highlighting the growing reliance on home broadband services.READ MORE
In Wexford, there are 22,175 premises in the Intervention Area (IA), which includes homes, farms, commercial businesses and schools. This equates tp 27 per cent on all premises in the country.READ MORE