West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Report should act as wake up call to DETI

Published: 7 December, 2015

A recent report 'Connecting Nations' by Ofcom has highlighted the Fermanagh and Omagh District are as the slowest in the north for Broadband speeds. Having been named specifically in the report it tops the list followed by the Mid Ulster council area. Speaking following the report local Sinn Féin Councillor Barry McNally said:

"This report is the latest in a long line highlighting the deficiency of broadband in the Omagh and Fermanagh District. The council area has the unenviable record for having the lowest broadband speeds in all of the council districts across the north.

"What is clear from this report is that the people and businesses of the area are being failed by Government departments when it comes to broadband infrastructure. This report should act as a wakeup call to DETI, who have ultimate responsibility for broadband provision in the north. I have highlighted my concerns directly with the minister in the past. This report confirms what I have been saying, that local people and businesses are not adequately serviced by good quality broadband.

"Just last month we saw a Broadband voucher scheme for Businesses being suspended after the £40 million had been allocated through the first call. After Belfast City this council area had the highest number of applicants for the scheme with over 300 businesses applying. This is a clear signal that the broadband strategy, if indeed one exists, is not working in the area. DETI boast that there is 100% coverage for broadband across the north. I would seriously question that boast. Clearly highlighted in black and white in this report is the current situation in Fermanagh and Omagh and it simply isn't good enough. In the coming days, in light of this report, I again intend to write to the minister responsible, Jonathon Bell to press upon him the need for action. This report should act as a serious wake up call to DETI