The government seems intent on setting up more talking shops, steering groups, and forums to ask questions about broadband. But we already have the answers! Minister Ryan will soon be announcing the formation of the National Advisory Forum, or NAF. This NAF idea is just another example of the failure of the government to ACT on this vital issue.
If my Broadband Infrastructure Bill is accepted, we will have targets for universal, high-speed and affordable broadband, and the necessary infrastructure for achieving these targets will be installed by a dedicated body with sweeping powers. Latest estimates put our communications infrastructure at seven to eight years behind our European neighbours.
This is something which is effecting the economy today. I am aware of one business in north Dublin which, because of connectivity problems, may be forced to close down with the loss of almost 20 jobs. Multinationals are “embarrassed” by the broadband “mess”, and could pull out with the loss of hundreds of jobs.