Holly Cairns, Social Democrats spokesperson for Rural and Community Development, has written to new Ministers to highlight the importance of rural broadband. The Covid-19 emergency has exacerbated the extensive issues with internet connectivity for businesses and community in rural areas.
“Every week I get several calls and messages about the poor or non-existent broadband connections and get unsatisfactory replies from government. Families can’t video call their loved ones, students are unable to participate in school and college, and people working from home are actually working in church car parks. This is an issue that affects social and commercial life across rural Ireland. If we want people to live and stay in rural areas we need immediate action.”
“The Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks, and Transport, Eamon Ryan needs to prioritise rural broadband. Not only will it support communities and small businesses, it will also enable people to work from home, with all the social and environmental benefits that brings. However, I am concerned at the low number of rural TDs at the cabinet table. Also of concern is the relegation of Rural and Community Development as a section of the Department of Social Protection, a very large department which will consume Minister Humphreys time. I will ensure that rural issues, including broadband, are not let slip; and, I am calling on all rural TDs to work together on this.”
2nd July 2020