Poor Broadband areas need priority; Cllr McDonald

By Dan Walsh

Working from home and the poor performance of Broadband in rural areas of Co. Wexford was a topical discussion at the September meeting of Wexford County Council that took place yesterday (Monday) under Covid-19 government guidelines at the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy. Cllr Ger Carthy, Cathaoirleach, was in the chair for the two-hour session.

CLLR LISA McDONALD told the monthly meeting of Wexford County Council about the need to prioritise Broadband roll out in rural areas.

Cllr Lisa McDonald made a call for a variation in the National Broadband in rural Ireland and place areas that have poor Broadband first before the larger towns due to the challenges in working from home for those with poor connectivity to break down the digital divide. “There is perfectly good Broadband in the towns, I know myself, but I have to come in from Murrintown to (Wexford) town if I want to send a big document. The reality work from home…doesn’t work five miles outside Wexford town,” she told members.

Cllr Pat Barden said at a previous meeting that it could take three years for Broadband to be rolled out in Adamstown. “We can’t wait that long. We need to prioritise rural Ireland to roll out Broadband. The present Broadband is not going to bring any industry,” insisted Cllr McDonald, and Cllr Cathal Byrne seconded the motion which received cross-party support.

Cllr Byrne noted the situation in his parish where Broadband “comes down a hill and it comes up a hill and it doesn’t meet in the middle and we are told we won’t have it until 2026!”

Cllr Barbara-Anne Murphy lamented the lack of commercial quality Broadband on the Templeshannon side of the town and businesses trying to set up there are being told that it cost them ‘ten grand’ per year for the privilege.

Cllr George Lawlor referred to Covid-19 and work patterns and he called for a taskforce to examine the best way for County Wexford to exploit the possibilities for remote working from home for the benefit of remote workers across the county.

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