Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the Government must stop dragging its heels over its commitment to rolling out broadband.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking as a new EU report revealed that Ireland is unlikely to meet its target of 100% high speed broadband coverage by 2020.
“It’s hugely disappointing that Ireland is set to miss the 2020 target and is unlikely to catch up to it until at least 2025,” she said.
“This programme was launched eight years ago with the EU setting aside €15billion in funding for Member States and yet it is depressingly typical of this Government’s priorities that we still have huge swathes of the country without access to decent broadband.
“So many of the vital services that people need are now accessed online, some of them exclusively online, so it is unacceptable that people are being denied that and will continue to be denied it for the next seven years.
“In this day and age we should no more accept homes being denied access to the internet than access to electricity or water.
“Typically, it is largely rural Ireland that is being left behind the rest of the country by this Government. Fine Gael must come forward and explain how, despite a decade long plan and billions in EU support they have once again failed the Irish people when it comes to providing a fundamental service.”