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€149m For National Broadband Plan In The Midlands

The Government signed the contract for the plan this morning.

There will be penalties if targets are not met in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, according to the Communications Minister.

The Government signed the contract for the plan this morning, which will see 1.1 million people connected to high-speed broadband.

The roll-out of the plan will cost in the region of €3 billion - with €49m going to Laois to connect 12,385 premises, a further €48m will be used in Offaly to bring broadband to 12,108 buildings, while 11,631 premises will benefit in Westmeath from the €46m investment.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton says the Department will be monitoring their progress while it's being established:

Work on the project is set to begin in the next 8 weeks.

Niall Brennan Principal at Loughegar National School in Westmeath is hoping facilities like theirs will have access as a priority:

The Government has published a list of approximately 300 community centres, schools, library hubs and local GAA halls in every county that will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband. 

The Minister for Rural Affairs says a child in Belmullet, Co Mayo is as entitled to have broadband as the child in Blackrock Co Dublin.

Michael Ring made the remarks following the signing of the National Broadband Plan contract this morning.

Minister Michael Ring says rural communities are already paying a high price for not having access to it:

In Laois the locations are:

An Post, Bilboa Post Office, Ardough, Bilboa, Carlow, Co. Laois, R93WN35

Ballyadams National School, Ballyadams, Co. Laois, R14E225

Emo National School, Emo Park, Emo, Co. Laois, R32DX52

Gaelscoil An Tslí Dála, Ballaghmore, Borris-In-Ossory, Co. Laois, R32TN62

Heywood Community School, Heywood Demesne, Ballinakill, Co. Laois, R32FE04

Killadooley National School, Killadooley, Ballybrophy, Co. Laois, R32A726

Knock National School, Spink, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, R32PT62

Rossmore Killeshin Development Association, Uisean Park, Rossmore, Carlow, Co. Laois, R93W825

Saint Mary's College, Knockbeg, Carlow, Co. Laois, R93RP78

Shanganamore National School, Shanganagh More, Barrowhouse, Co. Laois, R14K659

Vicarstown Community Hall, Mulen, Vicarstown, Co. Laois, R32RX67

In Offaly the locations are:

Ballycommon Telework And Training Centre, Ballycommon, Co. Offaly, R35V124

Bord Na Móna, Lea Beg, Blueball, Co. Offaly, R35P304

Coolderry Community Hall, Coolderry, Birr, Co. Offaly, R42DH05

Croghan Community Hall, Cannakill, Croghan, Rhode, Co. Offaly, R35VR66

Kilclonfert Community Centre, Kilclonfert, Rhode, Co. Offaly, R35T684

Mountlucas Windfarm, Mountlucas, Daingean, Co. Offaly, R35RX00

Primo Coaches, Ballydaly, Ferbane, Co. Offaly, R42AX58

Seir Kieran Church, Bellhill, Clareen, Birr, Co. Offaly, R42KP60

Shannon Harbour, Co. Offaly, R42Y421

Shinrone National School, Roscrea Road, Shinrone, Birr, Co. Offaly, R42XE30

In Westmeath the locations are:

Scoil Bhríde, Emper, Ballynacargy, Westmeath, N91 PP71

Milltown Emper Community Centre, Milltown Emper Community Centre, Sean Doolin Park, Westmeath, N91 VA06

The Downs National School, Greatdown, The Downs, Westmeath, N91 T229

Clonkill Hurling Club, Clonkill, Monilea, Westmeath, N91 HX78

Ringtown GAA Club, Whitehall Community Centre, Whitehall, Westmeath, N91 T85V

Streete Parish Park And Community Centre, Kilmore, Streete, Westmeath, N91 RC43

Dalystown National School, Dalystown, Mullingar, Westmeath, N91 W207

Moyvoughly Community Centre, Moyvoughly, Co. Westmeath, Westmeath, N37 FW50

Castledaly Community Centre, Kilcleagh, Castledaly, Westmeath, N37 YF54

Rahugh National School, Rahugh, Kilbeggan, Westmeath, N91 XF20

Saint Michael's National School, Castletown Lower, Finea, Westmeath, N91 FN29

Ballycomoyle GAA Club, Robinstown, Castlepollard, Westmeath, N91 VY92

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Some people try to divide our country - urban v rural, east coast v west coast, Dublin v the rest of the country. The Government is all about bringing Ireland closer together, ensuring that all parts of the country benefit from our prosperity. That requires investment in roads, broadband, higher education and enterprise and it’s happening. This contract means that every home, school, farm and business in Ireland will get access to high speed broadband. No part of the country will be left behind in securing the jobs and opportunities of the future. And as we know, the future is already here in our daily lives with online access offering ever more opportunities for living and working.

Photo credit: Twitter - @Dept_CCAEPhoto credit: Twitter - @Dept_CCAE

Minister Bruton said: “Today is a historic day for rural Ireland. By guaranteeing high speed broadband for every home, business and farm in the country, we are ensuring no one is left behind. This will have a transformative impact on rural Ireland, opening up opportunities in enterprise, health, smart farming to name a few – high speed broadband is increasingly becoming a vital utility and today the government is securing access for every person in the country. Without high speed broadband it will be significantly more difficult to attract new jobs to rural areas and develop new enterprise opportunities and it will be more difficult to retain the jobs that currently exist in these areas. With high speed broadband, we can ensure that people in rural Ireland are able to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented by the digital economy, from health care to farming, and from education to agriculture, rural development and tourism. We will not leave rural Ireland and one quarter of our country behind.

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