25 May 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has said that difficulties with broadband speeds and access during the Covid-19 outbreak emphasise the obvious and urgent need for greater broadband connectivity in rural Ireland.
Senator Lombard said: “Whether it be for work, study, or recreation, many people have been experiencing difficulties with lack of access and very slow broadband speeds in certain areas outside of the Commercial Areas and inside the State Intervention Area identified in the National Broadband Plan.
“Due to necessary Covid-19 restrictions, more people have been working and studying from home. Initially it was challenging to come to terms with new circumstances, but many who have appropriate access to high speed broadband have found 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. I believe this will be one of the positives Irish society will gain from this challenging time.
“This experience has 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.
“Last year, we witnessed the turning of our National Broadband Plan into a political football by those who are now calling for greater access across the country.
“Now more than ever we see that the National Broadband Plan must be delivered. Broadband access is as important today as electricity was to the home sixty years ago.”