‘Flabbergasted’ Kilkenny town misses out on broadband investment again
Castlecomer area councillors say they are “flabbergasted” the area has not been included in yet another round of high speed broadband investment.
Internet service provider Eir is to be invited to a meeting with councillors.
Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick told the municipal district meeting that Castlecomer was not included in an Eir announcement last week of more than €500 million investment in broadband for Thomastown, Callan and Kilkenny city.
“I want to know why Castlecomer was excluded. What criteria were used? Population? Businesses? Why aren’t we getting the upgrade that is needed?” he asked.
“It’s a farcical situation. Somebody has dropped the ball. We should invite Eir here to tell us why Castlecomer and north Kilkenny is being left behind.”
Cllr Maurice Shortall said he was “flabbergasted to learn we were not included in that programme.” He said he would like to ask Eir what advantage the MANS (metropolitan area network of carrier-neutral telecommunications fibre optic cable) system is to them, as it is in place in Thomastown.
Cllr John Brennan said representations are ongoing but progress is slow, and a lot of it is tied into the national rollout of broadband. He said the situation in Castlecomer is critical for factory, hotel and other jobs. “The reality of the situation is that if broadband doesn’t come in there sooner rather than later there is a possibility of jobs being put in jeopardy.”
Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh pointed out that students at the local community school do quite a lot of work on computer, as part of the new junior cert course and for Leaving Cert research, third level students from Carlow who come home every night also need broadband access.
“Castlecomer is going to have to get special treatment,” she said.