Longford-Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Gabrielle McFadden, has said the €800m in EU Structural Funds for Ireland, following the recent signing in Brussels of Ireland’s operational programmes under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will help support the rollout of high-speed broadband in rural areas, including those in Westmeath and Longford.
“In total, the Government has secured more than €1bn of EU Structural Funds over the period 2014-2020. When matching funding is included, total programme expenditure will amount to almost €2bn.
“The recently-announced National Broadband Plan and this EU funding will see the delivery of reliable high speed broadband throughout this region and across Ireland, through a combination of State and commercial investment.
“The procurement and tendering process can now be progressed and once completed, the building of high speed broadband for rural areas can finally begin.
“This EU funding is particularly good news for residents and small businesses where there has been poor broadband connectivity and an unreliable service for too long.
“The rollout of the National Broadband Plan will support families, rural communities and small businesses and is vital for economic development and job creation.”