Accelerate Broadband Service in Rural Ireland

Accelerate Broadband Service in Rural Ireland

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Rosalie Healy started this petition to National Broadband Ireland and

Open letter to National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD) and the company who set up the NBI, Grahanan McCourt:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are appealing to you to accelerate the plans to implement the National Broadband Plan initiative in light of our current pandemic.

The series of confinement periods and other restrictions mean that individual and business residents of rural areas who have jobs to perform via Internet usage struggle to carry out their duties or face longer hours and more stress as a result of interruptions of service or reduced bandwidth. This impacts on work-life balance, mental health and family life to name but a few serious symptoms of the issue which not only impact the individuals but their companies, families. This will add pressure to our Irish healthcare and welfare services.

Furthermore, social distancing has meant that more than ever there is a need for staying connected via video calls. A significant portion of the rural population would not have interactions with others or the opportunity to ask for help, or even order essential items without the use of a phone or PC - be it an elderly person, a disabled person, someone with specific medical needs or any person at risk of being subjected to violence or aggression in their own homes.

For education to continue, vulnerable children and adults who cannot physically attend school or college need decent and reliable broadband.

Some researchers, analysts, economists, journalists living in rural areas provide support to inform, share findings, etc. for the pandemic also.

Please, we urge you to do all you can to deploy whatever extra resources are necessary to help rural Ireland stay connected, stay mentally and physically healthy and keep learning and innovating.

Yours sincerely,

Concerned Irish Citizens

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