Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said that chronically poor broadband connectivity and speeds are undermining economic potential and making the simplest of tasks difficult and haphazard.
The Sinn Féin TD was responding to a study conducted by M-Lab which examines the quality of broadband in 200 countries. Crowe said that Ireland’s ranking near the bottom of EU Member States is a sign of a lost decade of investment.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“Many visitors to Ireland find it hard to believe that in the rural parts of my constituency of Dublin South West, a 30 minute drive from Leinster House and Dublin city centre, some constituents have really poor access to broadband or none at all. This is particularly the case in Glensamole and Bohernabreena
“Such poor connectivity makes the simplest of tasks that requires internet access extremely difficult and haphazard.
“The filling in of Government or EU forms for farm payments, applying for a passport online, a drivers licence, online banking, the paying of household and other bills, communication with relatives abroad, streaming films, education material, applying for a SUSI grant for education, the list is endless and something most of us take for granted.
“Unfortunately, Ireland will again languish among the bottom of EU states in broadband connectivity and speeds for another year as the Government continues to fail to deliver on its own broadband promises.
“Having an expansive and cutting-edge digital infrastructure must be at the core of any modern economy in the years ahead.
“Due to a decade of chronic underinvestment, this growing problem is undermining our economic potential and denying Irish citizens essential services.
“The coming budget is about political choices. With uncertain times ahead, Sinn Féin will choose to prioritise investment in infrastructure and in vital public services to secure long-term and sustainable economic growth. The lack of broadband connectivity and poor speeds impacts negatively on the lives of citizens and limits the job capacity or investment in many areas that are a stone’s throw from the centre of Dublin.”