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Fibre broadband in wider Keady area would cost each household up to £14,000

Supplying fibre broadband to areas in a number of miles from Keady would cost households up to £14,000, it has been revealed.

Fibre broadband provision in areas like Darkley, Granemore, Ballymacnab and Clady are currently non-existent, much to the annoyance of local residents.

Sinn Féin councillor Bróna Haughey says she has been working to resolve the issue in the area.

“When we were canvassing in May, almost every home relayed their dissatisfaction at the broadband service in their area,” said councillor Haughey.

“As a result, I have been in constant contact with BT and Openreach since trying to get some answers.”

The Cusher councillor asked Openreach to provide a sample costing for addresses across Granemore, Ballymacnab, Clady and Darkley.

This costing included the installation of fibre-to-the-premises, which would give download speeds of up to 330Mbps.

And the costings are based on a Community Fibre Partnership where Openreach contribute some of the costs and the community funds the rest.

Openreach estimated the cost of 26 properties in the area, and after commercial costs, the remaining price for the community would be £13,833.23 per household.

“This is not a realistic amount to ask people to pay for Broadband provision,” said councillor Haughey.

“This scheme comes at a huge cost to communities when Broadband should be a common and easily accessible utility.

“This is very disappointing to hear, as well as being informed that Openreach have no immediate plans to improve Broadband provision in the area.

“Sinn Féin have been consistently calling for Broadband inequality to be addressed and for future investment to prioritise rural areas.

“We continue to engage with the Department for the Economy to push for adequate levels of broadband in those areas worst affected by poor speeds.”

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