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David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East has welcomed Eircom’s announcement that high speed fibre broadband will be delivered to a number of the more rural areas of East Cork. Knockraha, Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Foxhole, Conna and Ballynoe are all included in the expansion scheme.

“I have received quite a lot of contact from constituents living in certain parts of East Cork over the past years who have had problems accessing affordable and efficient broadband services. Areas particularly badly affected have been Knockraha, Ballycotton and Ballymacoda so it is very good news to hear that high speed broadband services are to delivered to these areas by Eircom. I understand that Foxhole, Conna and Ballynoe are also included in Eircom’s service expansion.

“This €400 million investment by Eircom in fibre broadband over the next 5 years will be of real benefit to everyone living in these areas. High quality broadband has become essential for many people in their daily lives, and up to now, those living in these areas of East Cork either had to pay more for satellite broadband or had problems accessing broadband services at all. This affected not just local businesses but also anyone wanting to work from home, schools in the area and school children and students requiring internet for homework and research.

“In government, one of our key objectives to continue our economic recovery has been to address the lack of broadband availability in rural areas through the National Broadband Plan. The Plan contains two parts: improving conditions for enhanced investment in telecoms by commercial providers and a state intervention strategy for more rural areas to deliver broadband through a combination of state funding in partnership with investment by commercial service providers.

“Initial commercial plans to provide high-speed access to one million homes by 2015 have now turned into a commitment to provide access to 1.6 million homes by the end of 2016, and 1.9 million homes by 2020, proving that we have made commercial investment viable. Greater commercial investment also means a reduction in the cost to the state through the intervention strategy which is due to be published in July with roll-out to commence next year.