'People are unable to log onto basic Zoom calls': Cork councillor bemoans quality of broadband

'People are unable to log onto basic Zoom calls': Cork councillor bemoans quality of broadband

This week representatives of broadband service providers attended an online meeting of Cork city councillors to give an update on the national broadband roll-out plan in Cork city.

A CORK city councillor has called for stronger communication to be given to the general public and public representatives regarding the rolling out of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

This week representatives of broadband service providers attended an online meeting of Cork city councillors to give an update on the national broadband roll-out plan in Cork city.

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy had asked Cork City Council chief executive Ann Doherty to set up this special meeting, following numerous requests for updates on the plan from his constituents. 

"I certainly welcome the ambition of the National Broadband Plan but every week, I’m getting emails from constituents asking for updates. 

"With many people working from home, the demand for broadband is so high at present. 

"I am getting emails that people are unable to log onto basic Zoom calls or students who cannot take part effectively in online schooling. 

"The areas they live in are not in far out rural areas but in the inner suburbs of Cork city. 

"The old copper coil cable technology is not fit for purpose for the modern world," he said.

The National Broadband Plan is the Government’s initiative to deliver high-speed broadband services to all premises in Ireland. 

This will be delivered through intervention by the State in those parts of the country where private companies have indicated they have no plans to invest.

The State Intervention Area for the National Broadband Plan includes 544,000 premises and over 1.1 million people and includes any new homes built in the Intervention Area over the next 25 years.

"The roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is most welcome but the plan is just in year two of seven at the moment and its communication with local people needs to be improved immensely," Mr McCarthy said.

"I have had constituents who are so frustrated by the lack of communication of when their neighbourhood is due to be upgraded.

"I heard at the service providers online meeting this week that the roll-out of fibre cable in the city centre is being stalled due to the need to dig up the streets and the complexities that go with that. 

"And that it may not be looked at for several years. 

"We may end up with efficient broadband in the suburbs and anyone who needs effective broadband in the city centre island not being able access fast and sustainable broadband," he continued.

"This is not good enough for a city of scale such as Cork."

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