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Public urged to check broadband speed information

18 December 2018

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor John Boyle, is calling on local people’s assistance with a new government campaign aimed at improving broadband services.

The Department for the Economy is asking broadband suppliers and members of the public to help ensure they have correctly identified local postcodes that contain premises currently unable to access 30 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband services.

The information will assist in plans that could see a significant investment of up to £200 million of public money in telecoms infrastructure in Northern Ireland, primarily in rural areas.

Mayor Boyle said the funding could make a significant impact on broadband service provision locally. “There has been a major investment in telecoms infrastructure across Northern Ireland, but there are still areas, particularly rural, where difficulties remain.

“As a Council area with large expanses of rural land and a strong focus on promoting and supporting rural communities and businesses, improving broadband services is a key priority. This exercise aims to identify those areas in greatest need to ensure that funding is targeted appropriately. I would really encourage everyone to check the lists provided online and if you believe the information relating to your postcode is incorrect then please contact the Department for Economy as soon as possible.”

The lists are currently published online at www.nidirect.gov.uk/broadband-improvement or people can visit the local council offices in Derry and Strabane where hard copies are available. 

Chair of the Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership (LAG), Willie Lamrock, urged householders to ensure their information is correct to get the maximum benefit from the scheme. “Derry & Strabane Rural Partnership is keen to ensure that all rural households and businesses with no or poor Broadband are aware of this important opportunity to make sure they are included in the proposed list of target areas. 

“The Partnership had funding available for a small pilot Rural Broadband Scheme but this is no longer progressing given there is now this significant level of government funding to be targeted at rural areas throughout Northern Ireland. Therefore if you currently have no or poor Broadband, it is critical that you check to make sure your postcode is included on the list. If the postcode is missing, you must contact the Department for the Economy by 14th January 2019.” 

For further information on the public consultation ‘Extending Broadband Across Northern Ireland – Project Stratum’ visit: www.economy-ni.gov.uk/project-stratum. People can contact the Department for the Economy via email at [email protected] or by phone on 028 9052 9352.