The report shows that Northern Ireland has more than double the availability of full fibre services than England (85% vs 41%) and that full fibre connections here are available in nearly 700,000 homes, an increase of more than 150,000 on last year.
The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said, “In 2017 the DUP secured £150million of public investment to improve our broadband connectivity. Sinn Fein and others questioned the need for public money to be invested into high-speed broadband for rural dwellers, but this intervention has been transformative for our rural economy.
That is most demonstrated starkly within my own area where 71% of residential premises in the Fermanagh & Omagh Council area able to secure a full figure connection. That simply would not have been the case without targeted investment to benefit rural dwellers who otherwise would have been left behind the digital divide.
High speed broadband is no longer a luxury but is a necessity when putting forward an offer to investors considering Northern Ireland as a place to establish or expand their business. Northern Ireland does not just have better connectivity rates than any other UK region or the Republic of Ireland, but earlier this year the Financial Times ranked OECD countries by full-fibre rollout. Northern Ireland was beaten only by South Korea and Japan.
This is a practical demonstration of delivery from investment secured only by the DUP.”