Better broadband coming to 7,000 West Tyrone premises
Sinn F in MLA Barry McElduff with party colleagues Cllr Barry McNally and Cllr Stephen McCann after meeting with DETI Minister Jonathan Bell. ENTERPRISE Minister Jonathan Bell has said 7,000 premises across West Tyrone will benefit from improved broadband connection speeds by the end of this year. The DUP Minister made the claim during a meeting this week with Sinn F in s Barry McElduff MLA and local councillors Stephen McCann, Barry McNally and Kieran McGuire at DETI s headquarters in Netherleigh House, Belfast.
Speaking afterwards, Mr McElduff said Sinn F in sought the meeting in response to the continued problems faced by constituents in securing quality broadband provision in parts of rural Tyrone.
I challenged DETI Minister Jonathan Bell the idea of 100 per-cent broadband coverage in this region. I think that is misleading, said Mr McElduff.
There was acknowledgement that it may be of lesser quality in rural areas but that the solution won t always be provided by fixed line. During the meeting, which was also attended by the head of DETI s telecommunication s department, Alan Preston, the minister raised the recent extension of the council led Broadband Voucher Scheme for rural businesses and the Broadband Improvement Scheme.
The improvement project has targeted a total of 45,000 premises around the North, including 7,000 in West Tyrone by December 2015. The engineering scheme will transform the copper based telephony network into a fibre rich next generation broadband network, improving speeds. In recent weeks, four new fibre enabled street cabinets have been provided in the Greencastle area.
However during the meeting, the Sinn F in delegation pushed for a Tyrone taskforce on broadband to be set to address not spots and problem areas that still exist.
There are areas like Eskra, Aghyaran, Creggan, the Whitebridge Road between Carrickmore and Ballygawley and there are areas like Doughrock and Clanabogan where there are many problems, said Mr McElduff.
Labelling the issue as one of rural equality , he said he felt senior DETI officials have been reducing expectations in rural areas in recent times.
We re pushing the boat out there for the best possible broadband in rural areas that we can achieve.
For further information on both the new street cabinet locations and also how to check service availability via the number checker, visit www.nibroadband.com
Posted: 5:43 pm August 31, 2015