€51 million will be invested in Kildare under the National Broadband Plan when it goes live, a Fine Gael Senator has confirmed.
Senator Lawlor said:“Kildare will benefit from investment of around €51million under the National Broadband Plan. There are 11% of premises in the intervention area here in Kildare and the plan also accounts for new premises built in the intervention area during the lifetime of the plan.”
“The National Broadband Plan will connect 540,000 premises to high-speed broadband. This will have a positive impact on one million people and on 56,000 farms (68% of our total national farms). A further 44,000 businesses and 674 schools will also be connected under the plan.The majority of premises will be connected within the first five years. Work on the network will start as soon as the Government signs the contract to move forward.”
Senator Lawlor said that the Communications Committee has carried out an 'extensive investigation' into the National Broadband Plan to date and the best way to roll out rural broadband, although the multi-billion euro plan has come under criticism.
“It is worth noting that none of the submissions received, or evidence given during the course of the Committee investigation, indicate any reliable, cheaper or practical alternative to the National Broadband Plan and its goal of delivering high speed broadband to all parts of Ireland. The NPB is essential to ensure that rural Ireland is not left behind and to safeguard balanced regional development. We have seen some opposition TDs try to play politics with this plan which is very worrying," he added.
In July, the Government indicated that the roll-out for the plan will begin in October or November of this year, and the Oireachtas Committee is currently in the process of drafting its recommendations.
"The plan marks a landmark investment in rural Ireland that will have a game-changing impact on communities the length and breadth of the country. I believe that contracts should be signed, subject to due diligence and the buildout of rural broadband should commence as soon as possible,” Senator Lawlor concluded.