Close to €32m will be invested in broadband according to the latest Book of Estimates, as part of a plan aimed at bringing high-capacity metropolitan area networks to 19 towns around Ireland.
Last year the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources confirmed that €19m was spent on the National Broadband Strategy in 2001, €32m in 2003 and €32m in 2004.
Confirming the spend for 2004, Minister Dermot Ahern TD said: “This is a key Government project. Without it our availability to attract inward investment in locations outside of Dublin will be diminished. A modern, high-speed, low-cost communications and broadband network is an essential enabler of economic activity and social inclusion.”
The 19 towns involved in the project are: Waterford, Dungarvan, Wexford, Carlow, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Cork, Shannon/Limerick, Galway, Athlone, Mullingar, Carrick-on-Shannon, Manorhamilton, Gweedore, Roscommon, Portlaoise, Letterkenny, Tullamore and Ballina.
By John Kennedy