Fears parts of Fermanagh missed in broadband upgrade

THERE have been claims some areas of Fermanagh were left out of a recent public consultation for much-needed broadband improvement as a result gaps in the county’s postcode system. 
Households and businesses across Fermanagh had been urged to check if their postcode had been included on a list of areas due for an upgrade, as part of the consultation for a £200 million improvement scheme by the Department of the Economy that closed last week.  
Areas that had already been identified as having broadband speeds of less than 30Mbit/s were included in the Department’s list for upgrade. 
Those living in areas with similarly slow speeds but who had found their postcode was not on the list of areas in need of improvement had been urged to let the Department know. 
However, it has since been claimed some rural areas of the county were not on either the list for needing improvement or the list for not needing improvement. 
Local trade union activist Donal O’Cofaigh said he was aware of few places in the Fermanagh had been left out entirely, and it appeared the omission had resulted from changes to postcode and townland naming system introduced by the Council several years ago. 
“One of the things that was said when the Council introduced the townlands was that there would be a single postcode system for the county,” he said. 
“From what I understand, there have been some townlands left off the list. That would be very concerning, that some areas of Fermanagh with very poor coverage could still be left out of this £200 million scheme.” 
A spokesman from the Department told the Herald it had received almost 90 responses from Fermanagh as part of the consultation. They said they were unaware of any postcodes being excluded from their lists, but added “one of the purposes of the consultation exercise was to provide an opportunity for citizens to bring any omissions or errors to our attention.”
“Departmental officials will review the consultation responses and make any changes to the postcode list as required,” said the spokesman. 
“All current postcode areas where there is an approved built premise, according to publicly available records, were considered in the consultation. This list was based on the most recent set of postcodes used by the Post Office.”

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