Mid-Ulster MP 'highlights rural communities broadband woes' header image

A Sinn Fein MP representing Mid-Ulster in Northern Ireland has highlighted the issues locals living in rural communities in Derrytresk, Derryloughan and Brocagh are facing when it comes to their inadequate broadband provision.

Francie Molloy said that residents of these areas have voiced their frustrations to him over their experiences of an inconsistent service and snail-paced speeds, which he believes massively impacts homes and businesses, the Tyrone Times reports.

"Children are finding it affects homework with many subjects now requiring further research and study at home. This is virtually impossible with a slow or non-existent connection," he told the newspaper.

Mr Molloy added that a number of local businesses have been experiencing the same problems and are currently unable to respond to requests or demands from customers, or provide a proper service.

These firms have also had to deal with long delays in the length of time it takes to connect to the internet, he added.

"I am aware that over the past few years, there has been much investment into broadband by both DETI [Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment] and through the agriculture minister, Michelle O’Neill MLA [Member of the Legislative Assembly]. However, gaps in service cover clearly remain," the MP continued.

Mr Molloy assured local residents that he would be raising the issue directly with Arlene Foster, the minister for DETI, who he believes has a primary responsibility for the matter.

He also said he would speak to Ms O'Neill to discuss potential solutions and options for further investment in the broadband infrastructure for Derrytresk, Derryloughan and Brocagh, as well as other isolated rural communities.

In the meantime, the Mid-Ulster MP said Sinn Fein representatives will be liaising with residents to gauge the extent of the problem and gain an understanding into how it is impacting them in their daily lives