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Broadband scheme welcomed, but not all in line for improvement

WITH many already finding they’re not on the list, householders and business owners across Fermanagh are being urged to check if they are in line for a workable broadband connection.

As part of the ongoing Project Stratum broadband improvement scheme the local Council is urging locals to check if they are eligible for an upgrade to their current service, which is woefully poor in many parts of the county.

The £165m scheme, which has been years in the making and is being funded by the DUP’s previous ‘confidence and supply agreement’ with the Conservative government, has been developed to bring workable broadband to premises across the North that are currently experiencing connection problems.

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The Executive has awarded Fibrus Networks Ltd a contract of well over £150 million to carry out the massive upgrade scheme.

However, while Council chairman Cllr Errol Thompson welcomed the scheme, he urged locals to check if they’re on the list for improvement, as not every property in the county that may need an upgrade has been lined up for one. 

“We want to ensure that no one is left behind and I urge people to visit the hyperfastni website to check if their premises is included on the list for improvements,” said Cllr Thompson. 

“Indeed, if owners believe their premises may have been eligible and are not included on the list, I would advise them to make contact with the Department for the Economy.”

Some Herald readers, who are in desperate need of a workable connection, have already found they’re not in line for one as it stands, even though their neighbours are. 

“Not on the rollout list but the house opposite me is,” said Domhnaic MacCiaragain. 

“Seemingly the reason provided is that I can already get a fast service from a wireless provider. Thus forcing me to take service with one operator and stopping any competition. 

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“I’m unable to take any bundled services and will be worse off than the person opposite me. This service should be available to all properties it passes as its tax payer funded.”

A number of other readers agreed, saying they were in the same situation. 

Local man Ronan Curran said he believed the roll out of the scheme was “haphazard, with one house allocated availability and the one next door not without any clear understanding of how this is decided.”

Mr Curran said he had found the complaints procedure like “a parallel rabbit hole where the body responsible for infrastructure defers to the service provider and vice versa.” 

Overall, Mr Curran said he felt Project Stratum had been “poorly planned and badly managed.” 

“What is the point of Stratum if it isn’t plugging the gaps in fast internet availability,” he asked. 

To see if your property is on the list visit www.hyperfastni.com

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA