SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt has welcomed news that Newry, Mourne and Down Council has granted planning approval for infrastructure to improve rural broadband access.
50 new broadband cabinets will be installed across the Council area with particular focus around Kilkeel, Downpatrick and South Armagh. Speaking to Newry Times, she said, This announcement makes very welcome news for businesses and residents alike. The issue of internet connectivity has been a growing concern among people living in rural communities with regular complaints centering around slow internet speeds.
Increasingly there is a perception among those living in a rural setting that they are getting left behind. It is unreasonable to expect economic growth if this failing is not remedied.
Businesses will be turned off from investing if we are unable to guarantee an effective broadband infrastructure, a fundamental prerequisite for almost any business model, the local MLA insisted.
While it may have been a luxury in years past the simple reality is that efficient internet speeds have become a necessity today, particularly for businesses if they are to flourish. McKevitt added, This decision shows a commitment to connectivity and I hope it acts as a statement of intent for action in the near future.
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