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Minister McHugh Welcomes National Broadband Plan for Donegal

12 special rural hubs in county selected for first high speed fibre connections

Government investing €128m in Donegal to connect more than 32,000 homes, farms and businesses to broadband

Donegal Minister Joe McHugh has said the 12 rural spots to host special new hubs for broadband will be a game changer for the county.

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The Minister for Education and Skills revealed the locations after a Cabinet meeting where his Government colleague and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Energy Richard Bruton got sign-off on the National Broadband Plan.

Minister McHugh said: “High speed Internet in rural areas is investing in people and communities for the future.

“It will help people work from home, access services and generally make lives easier.”

The National Broadband Plan kicks off in the new year with work to connect fibre optic cables to broadband connection points in community settings such as GAA clubs, community centres and public libraries. The community hubs will all be connected by the end of next year.

In Donegal about €128m is being invested to connect 32,130 homes, farms and businesses thanks to the National Broadband Plan.

Minister McHugh said: “Twelve of the special hubs are in Donegal. They will give people in rural areas access to free broadband while they await a high-speed connection to their own home or business.

“They will make a tremendous difference to life in rural Donegal – in homes, schools, businesses and farms and in healthcare and other day to day services. They are a real signal of intent by this Government to support and sustain rural life and to help communities thrive.”

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The 12 locations in Donegal for the special rural broadband hubs are
:: Carnowen Presbyterian Hall, Raphoe
:: Cranford Coole Community Centre, Cranford
:: Dunree Military Museum, Fort Dunree, Buncrana
:: Glenveagh National Park
:: Leghowney Community Centre
:: Malin Head
:: Meenreagh Hostel, Killygordon
:: Rathlin Knitwear, Glenn Cholm Cille
:: Ray Athletics Club, Ray, Milford
:: Amharchlann Ghaoth Dobhair
:: Comharchumann Oileán Thorai
:: Westbic, Ballymoon, Kilcar

Minister McHugh said: “The National Broadband Plan is an investment for the future. In the coming years small and rural schools up and down the county will see a massive difference. It will allow teachers access to materials and information in a way that was not possible before.

“And I am using this hugely important decision by Government to call on multinationals, tech companies and other employers in big cities and urban areas to start planning now for bases in the regions.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to bring new industry and enterprise to Donegal over the next five years, to complement the hugely successful homegrown industries and fin-tech services that are employing thousands. And they can do this with the knowledge of first class, fibre optic, futureproofed broadband.

Minister McHugh added: “When you break it down into the 300 areas where the Government is stepping in to invest in high speed internet, the reality is that it’s hugely beneficial and a solid investment in communities of the future.

“It is a good deal for rural Ireland. It’s a powerful investment for the next generation and generations to come. It’s going to be life changing, just like rural electrification. And it’s going to provide new opportunities for people living and working outside our main towns and villages.

“It’s quite simply a game changer for rural Ireland and I am proud to be part of the Government that’s delivering it.

“People will see the difference that it’s making when they begin to see the hubs opening and they begin to use the high speed broadband. And that will happen in the coming months.”

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