Rural Broadband Scheme will Bring Broadband to Homes and Business across South Tipperary – Hayes

South Tipperary T.D. Tom Hayes has warmly welcomed the opening of applications for the new Rural Broadband Scheme, as part of the Jobs Initiative.
“The roll-out of the scheme will provide employment in the medium-term, while meaning that we are creating a rural economy and infrastructure that is capable of supporting jobs. Rural areas must have access to broadband to be able to survive in business and create jobs. The scheme will cater for any customers who are presently unable to get broadband, who live locally (all areas in South Tipperary fall under the classification the Department have made for rural areas). Only areas not included in the National Broadband Scheme will be covered by this new scheme,” Tom Hayes said.

“This means that a huge number of the people who come to me on a weekly basis because they cannot access broadband for their business or home will now have access to broadband. There will be a number of phases in the Scheme. This first phase involves inviting and processing applications. The Department will be accepting applications from 9 May 2011 until 29 July 2011. The application form can be found on the Department’s website, on my website, and from my office on (062 62892) or – it is vital to get the application form, which is very simple, in to the Department before 29th July, so that the Department can consider the application form as soon as possible,” Tom Hayes continued.

“In the second phase of the Scheme, the Department will check with existing internet service providers to see if they are willing to provide a service to the premises concerned. If they are willing to provide a service, the Department will write to you and ask your permission to be contacted by the companies concerned.

“If none of the companies concerned are prepared to offer you a service, then your application will progress to the next phase in the Scheme. The Department will write to you at that stage and let you know. The Second Phase is expected to be completed by January 2012 at the latest.

“In the third phase of the Scheme, the Department will engage an internet service provider who will offer a basic internet service to applicants. We will pass the details of all applicants to this service provider who will contact the applicants and offer them the service. While the Department will be paying part of the cost of the infrastructure necessary to provide a service under this Scheme, the applicant will be responsible for paying the costs of the service itself. This may include some upfront connection costs as well as monthly charges for the service. Customers will not be obliged to take up the offer of a service under this Scheme.

The expected roll out of this service is to commence in early 2012. The Scheme should be completed by the end of 2012 at the latest.

After years of delays and issues with broadband roll-out in South Tipperary, I am very pleased that this new scheme will enable communities and houses not connected to broadband to have their services upgraded.

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