THOSE living in rural Fermanagh are being urged to urgently check if their postcode is included on a list of areas to be upgraded, and to speak up if it’s not.
A number of areas with notoriously poor broadband coverage do not appear to be on the Department of Economy’s schedule for a £200 million upgrade of rural broadband services across the North. These include Boho, Kinawley and Donagh. Even larger towns such as Lisnaskea are not included on the list for improvement, despite local businesses campaigning for faster speeds for years.
The Department is asking the public to help ensure they have correctly identified all the postcodes in areas where broadband users are unable to access 30Mps (megabits per second). If you don’t find your postcode on the list, you are urged to get in touch with the Department as soon as possible.
Cllr Bernice Swift from Boho, where network coverage is patchy at best, said the Council’s broadband working group had been already been advising the Department and others on the issue.
“We will ensure the Department and all other agencies and providers responsible of addressing the blatant digital divide in our area will be well informed and reminded about Fermanagh and Omagh’s lack of telecommunications,” said Cllr Swift, who chairs the group.
“Boho is most definitely on our map, as is Kinawley and all other rural areas in need of effective telecommunications. We won’t let them forget.”
Cllr Garbhan McPhillips said he was disappointed to see many areas had been left off the list and encouraged as many people as possible to contact the Department to let them know their speeds were slow. He said his own broadband in Newtownbutler did not meet the 30Mps, and few areas in Lisnaskea would either, with much improvement being needed in the area.
“Rural Fermanagh has suffered from far too many cutbacks in vital services over the past few years,” he said. “Adding lack of improvement to broadband is just another setback to the area.”
To check if your area is listed for broadband improvements visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/broadband-improvement.
Here at the Herald we’ve had a quick check of local areas, however make sure to check your own as each postcode may vary.
Listed for broadband improvement:
Not listed for improvement:
Posted: 9:29 am December 6, 2018