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Rural broadband "a step closer" 29.11.07

THE ROLL-out of broadband to rural parts of Inishowen has moved a step closer after the EU Commission approved Ireland's National Broadband Scheme.
The approval was welcomed yesterday by Donegal North East T.D., Deputy Niall Blaney who said rural homes and businesses would greatly benefit.
“The roll out of broadband is vital in rural areas. Usage of the internet is growing in homes, but it is also essential for local business and enterprises that are increasing reliant on the internet," he said.
“If we are to encourage investment and growth of business in Donegal we
must be able to ensure a reliable broadband service.”
Four companies are in the frame to win the contract to supply rural broadband nationally - BT, eircom, Hutchinson 3G and IFA Motorola.
All four will present their proposals to the National Broadband Scheme in January. “It is hoped that a preferred bidder will be selected and appointed in June 2008," said Deputy Blaney.
“This process will help to ensure that the best possible service is procured to roll out the National Broadband Scheme and that the broadband service provided to rural areas is second to none.
“Internet users in rural areas, both domestic and business, deserve no less and the EU Commission approval helps to move the process on,” added the Fianna Fáil deputy.
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