The signing of the contract for the delivery of the National Broadband Plan is a “game-changer” for rural Ireland, according to the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD.
The National Broadband Plan, the Minister said, will bring high-speed internet connectivity to 1.1 million people, 537,596 premises, 56,000 farms, 44,000 businesses and 695 schools.
He believes it will enable the diversification of rural economies and will provide businesses with opportunities to create employment and to access new markets.
“The Government’s commitment to a maximum possible investment of €3 billion, to deliver the National Broadband Plan, reflects the importance we attach to the equitable economic and social development of our country.” Minister Ring outlined.
“With this commitment, we are making a clear statement that rural Ireland matters, that it is a sound investment, and that our nation’s economic and social development relies as much on the contribution and creativity of rural dwellers as it does on those living in our cities.”
High-speed internet connectivity
“High-speed connectivity will help to support remote working and will provide employers with access to some of the best and brightest talent in Ireland, regardless of where those workers are located.
“Farmers will also benefit, as they will be able to better access new web-based agricultural technologies that will help them reduce waste, increase yields and protect soil quality and animal welfare.”
The Minister concluded: “The rollout of the National Broadband Plan will support the Project Ireland 2040 objective of achieving Strengthened Rural Economies and Communities.”
“It will break the urban-rural divide and underscore the inter-dependence of rural and urban areas in creating Ireland’s future.
National Broadband Ireland has confirmed that the first connections under the National Broadband Plan will commence in 2020 under the Broadband Connection Points initiative.
“This initiative, which is part-funded by my Department, will see more than 300 sites in remote and rural communities across the country provided with early on-site access to high-speed broadband.” the Minister concluded.
‘The biggest ever investment in rural Ireland’
In a tweet, an Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “Today, we have signed the contract for the National Broadband Plan.”
“Every home, school, farm and business in Ireland will get access to high-speed broadband.”
“No part of the country will be left behind. The NBP is the biggest ever investment in rural Ireland.” the tweet concluded.