Improve broadband in rural areas plea

Young people and businesses are among many suffering due to poor broadband reception in rural areas such as around the lough shore from Maghery to Aghagallon.

Sinn Fein MLAs John O’Dowd and Catherine Seeley are to put the scourge of poor broadband on the priority list.

The pair met with the communications regulator OFCOM on Tuesday and discussed the impact poor provision has, in particular, on young people, rural businesses, the agri-food sector and tourism.

Constituents raised issues around coverage in the Aghagallon, Derrytrasna, Maghery, Colmcille, and Lough shore.

Mr. O’Dowd said: “Constituents should use the OFCOM website to check which service provider delivers best in their postcode area and can complain via OFCOM if broadband speeds they were sold are not being met.

“We look forward to the roll out of the universal service obligation which will ensure equality of provision in both urban and rural areas.”

Ms Seeley added: “Broadband is a key facet in the prosperity of any community - improved provision will help not only local people thrive but will boost our agri-food, tourism and business sectors. Rural dwellers are being left behind and Sinn Féin will continue to apply pressure.”