Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan, has called on the Government to ensure rural schools are fitted with broadband as a matter of urgency.
Last week in the Dáil, Deputy Moynihan questioned the Minister for Communications about the fact that many rural schools throughout Cork have no broadband.
“In 2012, I find it unbelievable that schools do not have any broadband connection. If you take the example of Milford in north Cork, the national school has no access to broadband which puts the pupils at significant disadvantage as they progress to second level and beyond.
“Access to the internet is a prerequisite for teaching and learning, without this basic facility children’s learning experience is affected.
“Broadband connectivity is one of the most important issues facing rural communities. I see in the property pages of newspapers that houses in rural areas use broadband connectivity as a selling point, this is the same for schools. At a time when rural schools are under threat from the Government, it is a great advantage for a school to have broadband, in fact I feel it is imperative.
“Another major problem for rural broadband users is that telecommunications companies are able to sell bundles at a higher price to rural dwellers compared to urban dwellers. This also needs to be examined, people shouldn’t be penalised for living in rural areas. The Government recently made almost €1 billion selling the licences for the next generation of broadband, some of this needs to be ring fenced for advancing the rural telecommunications network to bring it up to speed with urban areas.”