Campaign for full broadband provision continues

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
Commenting on the issue of Broadband accessibility to rural communities in the Newry & Armagh Constituiency local MLA Megan Fearon said that it was essential that this key issue was highlighted on a regular basis until all rural homes and businesses had access to the essential technology. “There is a need for everyone to have an access to good quality broadband in rural areas,” she told Newry Times. “It is now an essential basic service that assists both householders in everyday life and helps rural businesses to grow, develop and prosper. We must all continue to highlight the issue until all concerns have been addressed and rural communities have access to this essential service.” Megan and her colleague Cathal Boylan MLA have been actively engaged in highlighting concerns about the progress on broadband accessibility in rural areas and the restrictions this has on families, communities, farmers and businesses. The South Armagh MLA explained, “In May of this year Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill announced that her department was investing £5 million towards the provision of rural broadband. Myself and my colleagues have been ensuring that the ‘Not-Spots’ of Newry and Armagh haven’t been forgotten. “We have availed of opportunities to meet with BT representatives to discuss progress and have also submitted a series of questions to Enterprise & Trade Minister Arlene Forster. “These question include a request for an update on the current scheme of works to improve and extend rural broadband and we are also asking her to provide details on the process by which the role out of that programme has been planned, including the criteria which has been used to identify which areas to address. It is essential that Newry & Armagh is not forgotten about.”
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