Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton has called for better broadband services for Knockraha. Deputy Stanton has made contact with both the Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte TD and Eircom seeking the enabling of the exchange in Knockraha for broadband.

“Following a number of representations from constituents living in Knockraha village regarding the poor level of broadband provision in their homes, I decided to follow up the matter with the Minister and Eircom. It seems that due to normal broadband not being available in Knockraha most residents have no option but to pay for satellite broadband services which are much more expensive.

“In 2007, I received a letter from Eircom advising that the Knockraha exchange was one of 47 exchanges in Cork due to be upgraded in the following 18 months. Following contact with Eircom, I have been advised that while 44 of 47 exchanges listed on this letter had been enabled for broadband, it had been decided that Knockraha and two others exchanges would not be enabled.

“It seems the reason not to proceed with the Knockraha exchange was that it would not be make good business sense for Eircom. The cost of enabling the exchange is in the region of €300,000 and the number of residents, and potential customers, in Knockraha would not justify this level of expenditure. However, I understand from Eircom that they have undertaken to review this decision with a view to possible enabling the exchange.

“I can fully understand the frustration of Knockraha residents at the poor broadband services in their homes. Many people have children who require internet access for their schoolwork and anyone operating a business would find this very difficult without a good internet connection. Also as many people have pointed out to me, they have friends living just a few kilometres away in areas such as Glanmire and they have excellent broadband in their homes.

“I sincerely hope that Eircom will review this situation with a view to enabling the Knockraha exchange for broadband. I understand that Knockraha will also be covered by the new Rural Broadband Scheme, announced by Minister Rabbitte earlier this year and due to be introduced next year. However, I feel that the ideal situation for Knockraha residents as expressed to me would be for their local exchange to be enabled by Eircom. I intend to continue to follow up the matter with Eircom.