€290 million will be invested in Cork under the National Broadband Plan, Fine Gael Cork North West General Election candidate John Paul O’Shea has confirmed.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “Cork will benefit from investment of approx €290 million under the National Broadband Plan. There are more than 74,000 premises in the intervention area here in Cork, including more than 20,000 in Cork North West, and the plan also accounts for new premises built in the intervention area during the lifetime of the plan.
“The National Broadband Plan will connect 540,000 premises to high-speed broadband. This will have a positive impact on one million people and on 56,000 farms (68% of our total national farms). A further 44,000 businesses and 674 schools will also be connected under the plan. The majority of premises will be connected within the first five years and work on the network will start as soon as the Government signs the contract to move forward” added Cllr. O’Shea.
“The Communications Committee has carried out an extensive investigation into the National Broadband Plan to date and the best way to roll out rural broadband. I look forward to reading their report on the matter. However, it is worth noting that none of the submissions received, or evidence given during the course of the Committee investigation, indicate any reliable, cheaper or practical alternative to the National Broadband Plan and its goal of delivering high speed broadband to all parts of Ireland.
In addition, Cllr. O’Shea said “The NPB is essential to ensure that rural Ireland is not left behind and to safeguard balanced regional development. We have seen some opposition TDs try to play politics with this plan which is very worrying. Micheál Martin has said he would not even sign the contract, despite no better alternative being identified throughout the process. This would put the rollout of broadband to those who need it nationwide in jeopardy, forcing an even longer wait for this vital service.
“The plan marks a landmark investment in rural Ireland that will have a game-changing impact on communities the length and breadth of the country. I believe that contracts should be signed, subject to due diligence and the buildout of rural broadband should commence as soon as possible,” Cllr. O’Shea concluded.