Investment in local broadband infrastructure still high on agenda

Newry Times News Posted by
Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLAs Cathal Boylan and Megan Fearon have met with Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster to discuss upgrading broadband infrastructure in the Armagh and South Armagh areas.

Speaking to Newry Times, Megan Fearon said, “Minister Foster’s department has recently undertaken a consultation process on access to broadband Internet service across the North.

“There are many areas across South Armagh that have little or no access to broadband. As part of the consultation process Sinn Féin had provided the Department with lists of postcodes identifying areas with limited coverage, known in the industry as “notspots”.

Fearon added, “This places the area at a huge disadvantage, not only for attracting inward investment but also for students as internet now a valuable resource when studying.

Cathal Boylan insisted that Sinn Fein have been campaigning for improved broadband services in the Armagh area, including high speed fibre optic broadband which most other areas take for granted.

“I welcome the news that Agriculture Minster Michelle O’Neill has pledged a further £5million pounds towards efforts to address the problem,” Boylan stated.

“We had a constructive and positive meeting with Minister Foster who acknowledged the problems in the area and a commitment to improve them.

He added, “People want to see real progress and progress will be measured by the provision of this key service to a greater number of businesses and homes in the area.”

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