BT Ireland chief casts doubt on rural broadband plan

22 Jul 2013

The Irish Independent quotes BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill as questioning the government’s ability to deliver fibre broadband speeds to rural parts of the country under the National Broadband Plan (NBP). The news comes in the wake of last week’s announcement by the government that it is contemplating scaling back its commitment to co-fund ‘fibre-speed’ rollout in rural areas providing minimum access speeds of 30Mbps. The move sparked an instant reaction from lobby groups such as Irish Rural Link, which warns that the move to dilute the NBP could cost jobs in rural areas, while Mr O’Neill has now weighed into the debate saying: ‘I think physics and economics will say that 30 megabits per second to all rural areas is not feasible’. The CEO considers that the ambitious plan would face ‘intractable difficulties’ to implement countrywide. ‘I think that [Communications] Minister [Pat] Rabbitte has moderated his view on that,’ O’Neill said. ‘The minister has indicated that coverage and adequate services, rather than pure speed is what counts and that’s important’.

Ireland, BT Ireland