The Government's decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan is a turning point for the revitalisation of rural Ireland.

That's according to former Minister for Communications Denis Naughten, who says fibre to the home is the only option to ensure high-speed broadband is available in every corner of the country for the 25 years of this project.

While more expensive than other suggested options, Roscommon-Galway TD Denis Naughten says fibre is the only viable solution - despite the initial cost.

The Independent TD resigned as Minister for Communications last October following controversy over meetings he had with David McCourt, the businessman heading up the Granahan McCourt consortium, which was the only group bidding for the National Broadband Plan contract, and was yesterday approved by Cabinet.

Deputy Naughten has repeatedly said that broadband will be as important in the coming years as rural electrification was in the last century.

Speaking with Midwest News, he welcomed the Government's decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan, which will provide high-speed broadband to over 540,000 premises in rural Ireland...

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