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LETTER: Vast swathes devoid of high-speed broadband

November 10th, 2018 5:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – For those of us resident in the digital wasteland that either have no broadband coverage or have 1Mb broadband access, the chatter about the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is tiresome. Despite the high-profile launch of NBP in 2012 vast swathes of Ireland remain devoid of high-speed broadband for work and recreational use.  

It is laughable to see digital Ireland being marketed abroad to companies in order for them to establish their commercial operation in this country as if this emerald isle was a digital nirvana. 

The reality is that access to high-speed broadband is city-bound which means companies are clamped to the city boundary when establishing their business footprint. This leaves rural Ireland devoid of an industry stream that brings in itswake high-paying jobs, research and development and innovation.  

As for indigenous business in rural areas, lack of digital connectivity is trying to do business with electricity connected, but not switching it on. How difficult can it be for government and technology and communication industries to meet up and devise a viable commercial plan which in turn is consumer price-friendly? Dragging Ireland out of a digital backwater to a digital society has to evoke the spirit of Thomas Edison, who said, ‘We will make electricity so cheap only the rich will burn candles.’ 

It seems that task is beyond us so maybe we should look towards countries who have made the digital commitment and are reaping the rewards. Countries like South Korea or Singapore are leaders in creating and developing digital infrastructure. 

Sending an e-mail via the digital spine in rural Ireland will be problematic, so it might be best to use the envelope and stamp method to contact a suitable country offering them the contract to connect Ireland to the information superhighway.  

Though, good luck in finding a rural post office that does not display a closed down notice.  

The political drive is just not there to deliver broadband to all and not just to some. Once again your living location determines your access to a service that could be deemed a human right.

Yours, 

John Tierney,

Ashtown,

Fews,

Co Waterford.

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