Council launches study on country broadband

Council launches study on country broadband

8 November 2017

NEWRY, Mourne and Down Council has commissioned a feasibility study to review and analyse rural broadband provision across the district.

The organisation is asking business owners and residents to take part in a confidential survey regarding their current broadband internet service to try and secure additional funding to improve internet connection speeds.

The major survey has been commissioned as part of the district’s community plan and will outline how to improve broadband service throughout the district and the role of local government in the process. 

Council chairwoman, Roisin Mulgrew, said it is important residents and businesses help secure additional funding by completing the broadband survey. 

“Feedback from the survey will be used to support bids for future funding to help more residents and businesses benefit from fast and reliable internet connectivity,” she explained.

“Unreliable connections stunt productivity, causing needless delays, costs and frustration. While businesses in every corner of the district are affected, research shows that it is rural areas and small businesses that are most likely to suffer.”

Mrs Mulgrew said identifying the problem areas and securing schemes through funding will help increase access to services and allow greater adoption of digital services for residents. She said feedback will help grow the economy by both supporting existing businesses and encouraging 

new ones to become established in district.

“In recognition of the fact that many residents in the area still have limited access to broadband services, this project will seek to determine the actual internet access speeds residents and businesses are experiencing,” said the council chairwoman.

“In addition, it will build a database to further support these businesses and residents in the future 

through government funded connection programmes.”

Nicholas McCrickard, chairman of the Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership, said it is delighted to provide grant assistance to the local authority to commission a feasibility study to investigate the needs of broadband in our rural areas. 

He said the Local Action Group recognised the importance of rural broadband and the need to identify ‘not spot’ areas across Newry, Mourne and Down. 

“We envisage this research project will provide conclusive results to underpin any future actions and infrastructure needs across our rural areas,” added Mr McCrickard.

To access the survey visit or contact (028) 3031 3223 to request a printed copy or complete the survey via telephone. Further information on the local council’s community plan entitled Living Well Together is available at