Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the lack of ultrafast broadband in rural Ireland is contributing to rural isolation and decline.
The Ireland South MEP was responding to a report published by the EU Commission, which found that the lack of broadband connectivity in rural Ireland was having a serious knock on effect on other issues in country communities.
“In a report published by the European Commission, it was revealed that the Commission recognises that rural Ireland has suffered as a result of its lack of Broadband connectivity,” she said.
“The report says in it´s executive summary that ‘Regional differences in skilled labour, competitiveness and productivity are sizeable… The lack of access to ultrafast broadband in more than 95 % of rural areas further aggravates this problem.’
“This will not be news to anyone living in rural Ireland but it clearly shows that even the Commission are aware of what consecutive Irish Governments have been blind to; that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been willingly letting rural Ireland fall behind and into decline.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael must wake up and recognise the negative implications of their reckless policies towards rural Ireland. People in rural Ireland pay their taxes just like everyone else and deserve the same public services as everyone else.”