‘Improving our digital infrastructure a priority’ – Hazzard

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Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard recently met with mobile operator Three to be briefed on their plans for investment in the North.
Sinn Fein MLA Chris Hazzard

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard

Speaking to Newry Times, Hazzard explained, “A high class digital infrastructure is vital to improving connectivity across the North. This meeting with the major mobile operator Three afforded me the opportunity to discuss the crucial role my Department can play in supporting the delivery of this infrastructure. “This is a key time for mobile operators here. They are upgrading their networks, both to deploy new 4G superfast mobile broadband and to enhance existing 2G and 3G services. Improving our digital infrastructure not only benefits the North’s economy but promotes social inclusion and is important in the delivery of public services. “I want to facilitate appropriate proposals which deliver a high level of digital connectivity but also ensure that amenity and wider environmental safeguards are in place. He continued, “I am listening carefully to stakeholders and considering their views to the recent public consultation on changes to permitted development rights for telecommunication operators. “This is all shaping my plans for legislative change which will enhance the ability of operators to undertake smaller scale development without the need for planning permission. This will speed up necessary works such as replacing, altering or extending an existing mast or installing antenna on a mast or building.
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September 2016“As we look ahead and prepare for future generations, we need to be innovative and creative in our thinking. Developing our digital infrastructure will improve connectivity across the North and connect people and opportunities. The Infrastructure Minister added, “The draft Programme for Government sets out a plan to build a better future for us all and improving our digital infrastructure is key to this.”
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