Monday, May 07, 2007

Government policy on extending broadband to rural areas a disgrace- Doherty

Regina Doherty, Fine Gael East Meath Candidate today (Monday) pledged that she will champion total broadband coverage in Meath during the first five years of a Fine Gael/ Labour Government.
"The Fianna Fail\ PD Government has had ten years to extend coverage nationally instead Broadband access is at a pathetic 10.5% of the population. We rank 25th out of 30 OECD countries. Meath is standing at the sideline of the Information Revolution.
"Broadband access is not a luxury at this stage it should be a basic utility. People outside the big cities are not second-class citizens. Post offices and banks are shutting down around the country and people are being told to turn to the Internet for these transactions. This is hardly an option if they have to rely on a dial up connection.
"If we are really trying to increase investment away from the capital we should have basic infrastructure in place to support business.
"The Minister of Communications Noel Dempsey and Comreg, have allowed the Internet providers to hold the rural consumer over a barrel. They are allowed to cherry-pick the customers they want and leave the provision. Eircom has been more interested developing its market share.
"Action has to be taken now. How can Norway and Northern Ireland have 100% coverage while we are lagging so far behind?"