Fine Gael Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon, has this week sought clarification from Minister for Communications and Energy Alex White of the progress being made by private broadband operators Eir and ESB in rolling out high fibre broadband to regional towns and villages and rural areas around the Country. Deputy Heydon was speaking in advance of the publication due next week of the revised map showing the areas that will be covered by the Governments National Broadband Plan
“In the Dail two weeks ago I raised my concerns with the Minister on the progress being made by private operators and I have now submitted parliamentary questions to seek confirmation of the number of projects completed and progress to date. My main aim is to ensure that no area in Kildare South loses out on the Government investment plan by being included in proposals by a private operator which are not progressed as fast.
“Over the past two years eir(com) has announced Fibre to the Home (FTTH) in 66 towns in regional Ireland and 300,000 homes in rural Ireland, including many areas of South Kildare. Despite numerous attempts I have been unable to access details on the timescale for the rollout out of their plans for South Kildare.
“Also in September 2011, ESB announced that it was looking for a partner to develop a FTTH network in 500,000 homes in all of Ireland’s major regional towns and cities. A year later they appointed Vodafone as their partner, and the joint venture was branded Siro earlier this year.
“Broadband is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity in every home in the Country for education, work and social purposes. I want to ensure high Fibre broadband reaches every home in Kildare South as soon as possible whether that is through the state investment programme or commercial providers.”