Rural communities in Cork need fibre-powered broadband – 30mbs target speed is behind industry standard and must be increased to ensure NBP is future proofed

CORK North West TD, Michael Moynihan has said the required speeds under the current National Broadband Plan will be out of date long before the scheme is completed in 2023.

“It’s clear to me now that the speeds need to be revised upwards in order to future proof the service. Fibre broadband is the only real option if rural Ireland is to be brought into line with urban areas,” said the Fianna Fáil TD.

“The current NBP stipulates a 30mb broadband speeds but this figure is already out of date. In the US, anything less than 50mbs is not even classed as broadband.”

“Rural communities right across Cork have been ignored by the Government since it took office in 2011.”

“There is a major digital divide between urban and rural communities in Cork. Cork City has significantly higher broadband speeds than rural communities near the Cork/Kerry border.”

“How can we expect businesses to grow and prosper in rural communities when they cannot be confident of access to high quality broadband?” asked Moynihan.

“The National Broadband Plan has been delayed, completion dates have been pushed out and communities have been left without an adequate service. This is a completely unacceptable situation for the thousands of residential and business customers across the country.”

“I’m glad that Minister Denis Naughten appears to be listening to the warnings that the 30mb target falls far below what’s needed and has confirmed that the procurement process is being “intensively managed” to ensure “a future-proofed network”.

If the Minister is serious about this, he needs to ensure that fibre rollout is a priority, particularly in rural areas,” concluded Moynihan.