January 26, 2021
Business News

Remote working difficulties in Waterford highlights ‘urgent need for National Broadband Plan’

The difficulties faced by some workers and students with their broadband speeds and access while working remotely during the Covid-19 emergency emphasises the obvious and urgent need for greater broadband connectivity in rural Waterford, Senator John Cummins has said.

The Waterford Senator said: “In Waterford alone there are 14,809 premises that will benefit from the National Broadband plan, an investment of €59 million. The contract for the plan was signed last November and will deliver high speed broadband to 1.1 million homes, farms, schools and businesses nationwide.

“Many people are now working from home who would never have done so previously. For many it was undoubtedly challenging to come to terms with new workplace surroundings and with all the technological requirements needed at home. However, for the most part, as things have settled down during the outbreak, workers have been able to work from home more easily and many are reporting to me that they are finding it beneficial.”

“As a result, there is now a new opportunity for businesses and for families alike to experience a better work/life balance when Covid-19 subsides and when work returns to normal. I believe this will be one of the very few positives Irish society will gain from this challenging time and the ‘new normal’ period ahead. I believe the new government must prioritise and promote remote working where possible into the future by supporting employers to enable their employees to work from home, perhaps a grant to establish an office at home could be considered?”


Senator Cummins said he has been contacted by several people, including students, who have highlighted the lack of access or very slow broadband speeds.

He added: “Regretfully, last year, we witnessed the National Broadband Plan being turned into a political football by those who are now calling for greater access across the country for individuals, students and businesses. At times the very viability of the project was called into question. However, now more than ever we can see that the National Broadband Plan must be delivered. Broadband access is as important today as electricity was to the home sixty years ago.”

 

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating KilkennyNow.ie, WaterfordNow.ie and WicklowNow.ie. He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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