Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for the need for stronger communication to be given to the general public and public representatives on the extent and progress of the roll-out of fibre optic cable for broadband in neighbourhoods across Cork City.
This week representatives of broadband service providers attended an online meeting of Cork city councillors to give an update on the national broadband roll-out plan in Cork City.
Cllr McCarthy, who asked the Council executive to bring in the service providers for a special meeting noted; “I certainly welcome the ambition of the National Broadband Plan but every week, I’m getting emails from constituents asking for updates. With many people working from home, the demand for broadband is so high at present. I am getting emails that people are unable to log onto basic zoom calls or students who cannot take part effectively in online schooling. The areas they live in are not in far out rural areas but in the inner suburbs of Cork City. The old copper coil cable technology is not fit for purpose for the modern world.
“The roll-out of the National Broadband Plan is most welcome but the plan is just in year two of seven at the moment and its communication with local people needs to be improved immensely. I have had constituents who are so frustrated by the lack of communication of when their neighbourhood is due to be upgraded”.
“It also doesn’t help that service providers such as SIRO and EIR cannot speak to each other due to competition rules. So joining up the dots of communication and ramping up broadband to make sure Ireland’s second city has future proofed broadband, which can also drive regional development, is difficult”.
“I heard at the service providers online meeting this week that the roll out of fibre cable in the city centre is being stalled due to the need to dig up the streets and the complexities that go with that. And that it may not be looked at for several years. We may end up with efficient broadband in the suburbs and anyone who needs effective broadband in the city centre island not being able access fast and sustainable broadband. This is not good enough for a city of scale such as Cork. Better solutions for the city centre need to be fast-tracked”, concluded Cllr McCarthy.