SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has welcomed progress on Project Stratum to deliver improved broadband in rural areas. Fibrus Networks was recently announced as the preferred partner in the project to roll out full fibre broadband to 78,750 rural homes and businesses in the north by March 2024. Project Stratum represents an investment of £150 million by the Department for the Economy together with £15 million by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
Mr McGlone said, “I welcome the progress on Project Stratum and the much-needed investment in rural broadband.
“Connectivity is the cornerstone of modern society and it is essential that rural communities have equal access to the high-speed broadband available in urban areas.
“This is vital for access to businesses and services and key to sustaining the rural economy.
“The adequate provision of broadband can also play a role in promoting social well-being and provide a sense of community.
“The current pandemic has demonstrated the importance of keeping in touch with family and friends at times of stress.
“During lockdown connecting through broadband eased the sense of isolation and helped combat the loneliness many would otherwise have felt.
“Project Stratum promises to deliver the high-speed broadband rural communities need.
“The SDLP will continue to work with the departments involved to ensure those promises are fulfilled.”