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Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabitte TD, has today announced a new Rural Broadband Scheme which aims to identify the remaining premises in rural Ireland that are unable to obtain a broadband service and to provide a service to those premises where requested.

According to a press release issued by the Department, the Scheme will be conducted alongside the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under the Rural Development Programme co-funded by the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development. It is hoped, that the scheme would provide universal broadband access throughout Ireland by the end of 2012. While much of the Government’s National Broadband Scheme has been completed, there remains many rural areas devoid of a broadband service whether due to technical reasons or otherwise.

The Minster spoke how he is,“launching this Scheme to identify the remaining small percentage of premises that have not been able to procure a broadband service and to provide broadband to such premises which cannot be served by the existing market”.Should the case arise that an existing service provider cannot be identified as being able to provide a service to an area without broadband; the Department will seek to procure such a service.

NewEra

Furthermore, the Minister announced advancements are being made in relation to NewEra proposals within the Programme for Government to co-invest with the private sector and commercial semi-State sector to provide next generation broadband to every home and business in the State. Plans are in place for the first formal meeting of the Next Generation Broadband Task Force over the coming weeks.