Broadband upgrade worth over £1 billion

Photo attached: Jonathan Buckley MLA, BT Managing Director of NI Networks, Mairead Meyer, Gordon Lyons MLA
Photo attached: Jonathan Buckley MLA, BT Managing Director of NI Networks, Mairead Meyer, Gordon Lyons MLA

Improvements to broadband infrastructure could bring up to £1.2 billion worth of benefit to Northern Ireland, according to a report from BT.

Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley has welcomed the report pointing out the improvements were down to the money secured by the DUP within the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Conservatives.

As part of the Agreement £150million was secured to bring ultra-fast broadband to rural areas.

The report by BT has calculated that for every £1 invested there could be an eightfold return by 2033 including new jobs and better productivity.

Mr Buckley said: “I welcome this opportunity to meet with BT and highlight the urgent need in Upper Bann for rural broadband provision. This report reminds us that at the centre of the C&S Agreement were issues to benefit everyone in Northern Ireland regardless of their political allegiance.

“This report highlights the scale of the benefit this investment can bring, and that key beneficiaries will be rural regions in the west of the Province including Upper Bann.

“I will continue to fight the case for rural ultra fast broadband in Upper Bann to help our rural dwellers, and businesses.

“It is vital that this investment is progressed as quickly as possible but there can be little doubt that this process would be aided by the presence of a functioning Executive.”