Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands to discuss the Development of Rural Hubs, Broadband and Mobile Coverage in Rural Ireland

In Infrastructure, Jobs, News by Denis Naughten

The Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9am to discuss the development of rural digital hubs, broadband and mobile coverage in rural Ireland.

Dr. Stjohn O’Connor and Mr. Turlough O’Brien from the Department of Community and Rural Development will appear in Committee Room 4 of Leinster House as the committee meets for an overview of issues which impact upon; remote working and practices, transport, greater labour market participation and work/life balance.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Committee Chairperson, Denis Naughten TD, said: “Since Covid 19 access to quality broadband and mobile phone coverage has become even more important than ever. However, with the pressure being put on these networks, services have actually deteriorated and the Committee is anxious to find out what measures can be taken to address these problems in the short term.

“We will receive an update  from the Department on the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) Enterprise Hub Network Project, which the Department and the Western Development Commission (WDC) have been working on since 2019 with the aim of delivering an integrated network of remote working and enterprise hubs along the AEC.

“Furthermore, the work programme and outputs of the National Hub Network Working Group will be explored. The Network has been convened to investigate the feasibility of mapping and developing a national network of remote working facilities, including hubs, BCPs and libraries, based on the model developed in the AEC region.

“The Committee notes that an additional €5 million has recently been allocated in Budget 2021 to support the expansion of the AEC Hub Network Model on a national scale. In addition, we will look at and discuss Broadband Connection Points (BCPs), and the National Broadband Plan Rollout.”

Tomorrow’s meeting in Committee Room 4 can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV.

For more information about the work of the Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands see the Committee webpage

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