Connectivity essential for future of the Glens

8 03 2015
broadbandSDLP Glens Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop highlighted the problem of poor mobile phone and broadband coverage in the Glens and has welcomed the input of SDLP Regional Development Spokesperson John Dallat who has taken a proactive stance on the issue.

She said: “The poor quality of mobile phone signals and the absence of a decent broadband speed is one major disadvantage for those living and doing business in the Glens. It is also a particular irritant for those passing through as visitors and tourists.

“As a member of the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council I want to see the imminent publication of the master plan for these communities so that we can have a firm focus on developing tourism and industry where it is appropriate.

“I welcome the fact that the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster has given a personal commitment to my SDLP colleague John Dallat that she will take a personal interest in this long-standing issue.  

“I am also seeking a direct meeting with Vodafone to find out how their recently announced programme for small communities can help the people of the Glens of Antrim.

“Above all we need joined-up thinking based on the wishes and aspirations of the people who live there. Our coastal areas are unrivalled in beauty anywhere in Ireland and we can take advantage of this if our local communities are listened to. Sustainable jobs can be created without threatening the environment or the landscapes.

 “It is time to begin talking up the Glens.  We need to collaboration of the tourist board, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the synergy of the new council which I hope will focus on real issues and not time-wasting debates”

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New Broadband technology for Rathlin

15 07 2013

Knocklayde from Rathlin
Moyle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the recent BT announcement of a pilot “wireless to the cabinet” technology scheme, the first deployment of its kind in the UK and Ireland. The pilot will deliver high speed broadband to a number of premises on Rathlin from next month, with speeds of up to 80Mbps on the island for the first time.

“Broadband speeds on Rathlin have been limited by the difficulty in providing a high speed link to the island. BT is deploying a newly developed radio solution linking the Ballycastle exchange with the Rathlin island exchange. This is then integrated into the next generation high speed fibre broadband architecture which provides a ‘fibre-like’ capacity directly to a street cabinet on Rathlin.”

Councillor Cunningham added that “The new technology will enable Islanders to enjoy similar fibre broadband speeds as those available to businesses and households across Northern Ireland.”

The initial pilot phase will be trialled by a number of premises on the island and will run for six months. If successful, the solution has the potential to offer high speed fibre broadband capability to the majority of premises on Rathlin.