Speaking at an event for Irish Telecom industry leaders last week, IFA President Joe Healy said that modern broadband infrastructure is an essential requirement for rural areas in order to capitalise on economic and social opportunities.
Joe Healy said that National Broadband Plan is key to closing the digital divide and the new government must make its rollout a key priority, “The commitment to deliver the National Broadband Plan by 2020 will have to be realised and the pricing structure for rural customers must be affordable. IFA will hold the Government to account on this.”
Joe Healy said the network should be future-proofed for service provision and every rural home and business must have access to high-speed fibre broadband, “This is vital for the future of the 440,000 rural families in the country and the tens of thousands of small businesses that exist in rural areas”.
Mr Healy said that for farmers who want to operate their businesses in a competitive and progressive way, rural infrastructure such as broadband is vital to reach the growth targets set out in Food Wise 2025.
Joe Healy also acknowledged the progress that has been made and encouraged the private sector companies involved in the roll-out of fibre broadband to rural areas to continue to work towards this goal at a pace.