IFA President Joe Healy said the Government’s decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan was an important development for rural Ireland.

Mr Healy said, “Broadband is an essential tool for the business of farming, accessing health and education, bridging the digital divide and the development of vibrant communities. Farm families and rural businesses require access to a fibre broadband service that makes their lives better and lowers the cost of doing business”.

Joe Healy said, “There is only one chance to get this right and given the scale of investment by taxpayers, the focus MUST be laser like to ensure value for money”.

“I believe the roll out plans should have a parallel process for starting at the most rural edges of the network to ensure that those most underserved receive it quickly. The overall completion timeframe which has already been extended to seven years must be delivered on.”