West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Doherty welcomes Broadband Investment west of the Bann

Published: 30 July, 2009

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP MLA Pat Doherty has welcomed the announcement by DETI Minister Arlene Foster that £177.000 funding, from the £1.9 million Broadband Fund, is being allocated to two companies Net1/Simpliphone and North West Electronics to provide high quality, affordable wireless broadband access to certain rural areas west of the Bann where line broadband provision is still inaccessible.

He said,

"Sinn Féin has been and will continue to lobby for investment to increase Broadband connectivity in rural areas west of the Bann. This investment is not only being provided to enable people in targeted rural areas of counties Derry and Fermanagh to be able to access high quality, affordable wireless broadband but it will also open up provision for many people in rural areas in south Tyrone as the service being provided by Net1/Simplifhone (based in Trillick) will be accessible to anyone with a clear line of sight to the mast at the top of Brougher Mountain within a straight line of 20km.

"Continued investment in Broadband Technology in rural areas west of the Bann is necessary to ensure that that those living, working and running businesses in all areas across the north are able to access its benefits."


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced investments worth £177,000 to further improve broadband services in rural areas across Northern Ireland.

The investments, in the form of financial assistance through the £1.9million Broadband Fund, have been awarded to two companies, North West Electronics and Net 1 Limited. Both specialise in the provision of broadband services.

The Broadband Fund is co-financed under the European Regional Development Fund Sustainable Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013. It has a specific rural focus and offers practical financial support to organisations undertaking broadband technology trials in Northern Ireland, or offering solutions for the delivery of high speed, reliable broadband services.

North West Electronics, based in Londonderry, offers fixed wireless broadband access services. With the help of this funding, it will extend its existing network in the north-west and offer a significant range of commercial broadband services to business and residential customers in the North Sperrin and Foyle Basin areas of County Londonderry, including Park, Greysteel and Macosquin.

Net 1 Limited, a company based in Drogheda, specialises in the delivery of rural broadband internet connectivity also via fixed wireless access. It currently operates almost 200 base stations throughout Counties Meath, Louth, Monaghan and Cavan. It will develop similar fixed wireless infrastructure across County Fermanagh from the east near Augher, to the area immediately south east of Lough Melvin, offering services into areas including Marlbank (the Marble Arch Caves), Belcoo, Lattone, Drumculley and Kinawley.

Announcing this second batch of successful projects to receive financial assistance from the Broadband Fund, Arlene Foster said: "The £1.9million Broadband Fund continues to offer practical business support to Northern Ireland's SME's, upon which our local economy is highly reliant.

"The fund allows such organisations as North West Electronics and Net 1 Limited to demonstrate the range of technologies that will prove critical in delivering next generation broadband services, enabling rural local enterprises to grow and providing access to commercial, educational and social services for rural domestic broadband users."

The Minister reinforced her commitment to providing a widespread deployment of high speed broadband services here.

She said: "It is vital that higher speed broadband services are made as widely available as possible across Northern Ireland. The work of North West Electronics and Net 1 Limited will span areas within County Londonderry and County Fermanagh, allowing those living and working in some of the most rural locations, to benefit from high quality, affordable broadband access.

"I congratulate Net 1 Limited and North West Electronics on their success and look to them to build upon their proven track records in delivering broadband services."