‘Broadband delivery plan a must’ – McNulty
SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has called on the Department of the Economy and the Department of Infrastructure to publish an Integrated Broadband Delivery Plan for the North and said that it must ensure that all rural dwellers have access to high quality broadband as a priority.
Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “People are fed up with empty promises and posters from utility companies and government claiming to be investing in rural broadband or delivering broadband for certain areas and yet nothing is happening.
“They want to see real investment and a clear indication when the investment is going to happen in their areas. The last debate of the Assembly was on broadband in Newry and Armagh and it’s a major issue for people living in rural areas.
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“People are rightly fed up with the piece meal approach to dealing with the issue, one minister after another has made announcements about ‘investment’ in broadband but in reality local people are seeing no difference.
“As a political representative it is one of the major issues people contact me about. I am constantly lobbying BT and government departments but I get the real sense that they are working in individual silos and not together.
“We need a coherent and Integrated Broadband Delivery Plan which sets out very clear defined goals and targets detailing when individual areas will have access to broadband. It must reach into the rural areas currently not serviced.
“I have visited businesses and householders right across the area who are at their wits end. Students cannot do their homework and have to travel into the local library to access broadband. Businesses are losing vital contracts and trade because of poor connectivity. This is just not on and must be addressed as a matter of urgency,” McNulty added.
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