Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that homes and businesses in the towns of Athlone, Mullingar and Longford are set to benefit as a result of a joint ESB and Vodafone venture to upgrade broadband facilities. A total of 50 towns nationwide will benefit as a result of the €450 million investment.
“As a result of this major investment plan announced by the ESB and Vodafone, homes and businesses in the three towns will be able to access high speed broadband. This will help to both attract new investment and sustain existing businesses, as well as improving the quality of broadband available in people’s homes.
“Upgrading our broadband network is crucial to our economic recovery. The Government is determined to improve the access, quality and capacity of the broadband infrastructure in the State. We have seen this with the plan to roll out high speed broadband in every secondary school in the country which will be completed by this September.
“In May, the Government announced an implementation strategy to deliver State led broadband investment in rural areas under the National Broadband Plan. The initial phase of this plan will involve a fibre build out to more than 1,100 villages. The deployment of fibre will be as close as possible to strategic locations such as schools, business hubs, health facilities and Garda Stations.
“The State is doing its part to upgrade the broadband network, and it is very positive that the private sector is also setting up to the mark, as evidenced in today’s announcement by the ESB and Vodafone.
“The Government recognises that we need to be ambitious by future proofing our broadband network, with the objective of solving the connectivity challenge in rural areas for the long term.
“Improving broadband access in rural Ireland will help ensure that our economic recovery is being felt in every town and village across the country.”