Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that the approval by the European Commission of a joint project between ESB and Vodafone will ensure a new high speed fibre broadband network for rural towns across the country including Longford.
“This is a massive boost to Longford and will completely change the quality of broadband experienced in homes and businesses. It will also make these towns more attractive as business and investment locations.
“The project will use existing ESB power lines to carry fibre-optic cabling directly into homes and businesses. This is the first initiative of its kind in Europe and will involve the rolling out of high speed broadband to 500,000 homes and businesses across 50 towns in all 26 counties by 2018. I am delighted that Longford is included in the project and look forward to its implementation.
“This will benefit business and households in these areas which have been crying out for high speed broadband. This Government has set about ways of improving access, quality and the 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.
“It is important to say here that the Government is also committed to investing significantly in fibre networks for rural communities outside town areas and I want to make sure rural communities benefit from this roll-out.
“The Government is committed to delivering high-speed broadband to half the population by 2015 and today’s announcement is a big step forward in that regard.”