The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring says the signing today of the contract for the National Broadband Plan "heralds a new dawn for people living and working in rural Ireland".

The Mayo-based Minister says access to high-speed broadband will have a powerful, transformative effect on the lives of people in rural areas, and will provide businesses with opportunities to create new jobs and access new markets.

The plan includes an investment of €145 million in Mayo, bringing high-speed broadband to 36, 390 homes and businesses across the county.

Nationally, the €3 billion euro plan includes the rollout of high-speed broadband to over half a million premises - many in isolated areas that are not covered by commercial broadband operators.

Minister Ring says high-speed broadband is a necessity for all areas of rural Ireland....

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