Remote working difficulities in Kilkenny hightlights ‘urgent’ need for National Broadband Plan

12th May 2020

Source: Kilkenny Now

Difficulties experienced by some workers with their broadband speeds and access while working remotely in rural Kilkenny during the Covid-19 outbreak highlight the urgent need for greater broadband connectivity, a local TD has said.

Deputy John Paul Phelan also criticised Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who last year said the National Broadband Plan was unfairly “advantaging” rural homes.

Deputy Phelan said: “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.

“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.”

Deputy Phelan called for the National Broadband Plan to be “fast-tracked now” and to ensure Kilkenny “isn’t left down the pecking order”.

He called on all local TDs to work together to ensure Kilkenny “might even become Ireland’s first digital county”.

Deputy Phelan added: “My fear is that larger counties with a rural hinterland such as Cork, Kerry and Wicklow would be cherry-picked first and that we would have to wait for years for the service we so urgently need.

“Now more than ever we see that the National Broadband Plan must be delivered. And fast. It’s not a luxury anymore. It’s an absolute necessity – particularly if our rural towns and villages are to survive. Broadband access is as important today as electricity was to the home 60 years ago.”

Latest News: Events

  • 25th May 2020

    Galway Minister tells EU conference Covid-19 crisis reflects need for National Broadband Plan

    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
  • 20th May 2020

    Our Connected Lives Depend on High Speed Broadband

    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
  • 18th May 2020

    First phase of National Broadband Plan (NBP) well underway

    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