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Failure to deliver reasonable broadband where it is needed

Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA Rosemary Barton has said that the promises of high speed broadband delivery as part of the Conservative-DUP deal at Westminster is not deliverable.

Mrs Barton said:

“Many people who suffer from a very poor broadband service, indeed in some areas broadband is virtually non-existent had high hopes when the DUP-Conservative deal was announced, which suggested a £150m spend on broadband in Northern Ireland.

“Many areas throughout Northern Ireland and particularly in many rural parts of Fermanagh & South Tyrone (FST) there is a huge demand for improved broadband services. While in some areas there is 98% coverage of superfast broadband availability and they are pressing to have 100% coverage, in FST the coverage is just about 60% and in some areas there is 0% coverage.

“The UK Minister responsible for rollout and delivery of the proposals Margot James MP has said that while it is great the money is there the delivery is being held up by the lack of political leadership in Northern Ireland.

“It is shameful that uncompromising demands to have an irish language act by Sinn Fein is having such a detrimental impact on the rollout of broadband, but also as we have heard so often on key areas like health and education.

“It’s time for Sinn Fein to wise-up and allow Northern Ireland to progress instead of holding on to their narrow political ideologies. Or maybe they just don’t want Northern Ireland and its people to move forward together.”

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