The National Broadband Plan will be a game changer for rural Ireland, according to the Mayo-based Minister for Rural & Community Development.

The Cabinet yesterday approved a preferred bidder for the plan, which will see high-speed broadband being rolled out to 540,000 premises all areas of the country, benefitting 1.1 million people - almost a quarter of Ireland's population.

56,000 farms, 44,000 small businesses and 674 schools are among the premises which will be connected under the plan, with the roll-out of fibre broadband commencing in the last quarter of this year.

The Government says the majority of premises will be connected with the next 4 to 5 years under the plan, which will cost almost €3 billion - with a €151 million investment in Co Mayo.

Minister Michael Ring says it will be a game-changer for the areas of rural Ireland currently without broadband...



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