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Rural Broadband – Apply Now Says Noel Coonan

Deputy Noel Coonan TD

North Tipperary TD Noel Coonan is urging North Tipperary constituents to apply under the new Rural Broadband Scheme.

The Deputy is urging all North Tipperary constituents, who are without a broadband service to apply under the new Rural Broadband Scheme which aims to identify the remaining individual premises in rural Ireland that are unable to obtain a broadband service and to provide a service to those premises, where requested.

The local Fine Gael TD stated:

This is a most welcome initiative that will help numerous constituents who are still without broadband and left in the digital dark, despite the passing of the Celtic Tiger era.  The previous Government failed to attract investment to the constituency with one of the most significant barrier to job creation being the lack of a high-speed broadband system. Hopefully this new incentive will overcome that barrier. Under our new Government, people who are unable to procure a broadband service are been given the opportunity to lodge an application through a public consultation process taking place over the next three months. If an existing service provider cannot be identified, the Department will seek to procure such a service. The combination of private and public sector programmes in the broadband market will ensure that Ireland reaches the EU target of ubiquitous basic broadband access, ahead of the 2013 deadline.”

Deputy Coonan said the Department has a dedicated line for Rural Broadband Scheme applications on lo-call 1850 678100 or 01 6782020.

The scheme, which was announced recently by the Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte, will operate in a number of phases, with applications being accepted over an initial three month period. This will be followed by a process of verification with Internet Service Providers to assess whether any of the applicants can be served by the market without Government intervention. Some applicants may obtain a service during this phase of the Scheme and it is expected that the process will take about six months.

The Scheme will be carried out in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the Rural Development Programme, co-funded by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development.

This announcement will be particularly welcome to rural businesses in Tipperary.

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