Following ongoing concerns over the inadequate broadband services available throughout rural parts of the county, Waterford City & County Council are to write to the Minister for Communications to highlight the ongoing issues and the effect slow broadband is having for the economic development of the region.

Lismore-based councillor Declan Doocey, raised the issue of slow broadband speeds at the October meeting of Dungarvan/Lismore Municipal Authority, where he said the national roll-out of high-speed broadband would take upwards of a decade and local authorities should be more proactive in assisting small broadband providers to expand their services into rural parts of the county.

He referenced ongoing interest from a Chinese company who are looking at providing broadband in the Lismore and Ballyduff areas of the county, and said smaller providers do exist and should be encouraged through the support of the council, to provide broadband to more houses.

Some local authorities around the country have begun to assist local suppliers and provide them with water towers to place masts and supply broadband to nearby villages.

Waterford City & County Council said last month that they would consider such a partnership with a broadband provider after acknowledging the Government’s own National Broadband Scheme is only in its early days.

On Cllr John Pratt’s suggestion, the meeting agreed to write to the Minister for Communications to highlight the issues of inadequate broadband speeds and to receive a progress update on their plans to for a national roll-out of high-speed broadband in the coming years.