04/09/2002

'Bring Broadband 2 Strabane' campaign launched

Strabane Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign to highlight the lack of broadband Internet connection in the area and emphasise the benefits of broadband

Internet connection.

The failure of broadband Internet providers to extend their service to certain parts of the Province has created a virtual digital divide, with Strabane at present being on the wrong side of this divide, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber hopes to redress this through the 'Bring Broadband 2 Strabane' campaign and enable local business and the wider community to realise the full potential of the Internet and compete on a level playing field with other Broadband-enabled regions.

To this end, a series of seminars are to be held – the first of which is at The Fir Trees Hotel on Thursday 12th September at 7pm.

An invitation from the Chambers' Infrastructure Committee has been accepted by two of the most important and influential people in Northern Ireland telecommunications.

Dr Trevor Forsyth of the DETI (Telecom Policy Unit) will present the government's current position on the rollout of broadband to the regions.

Following this, Margie Greer, the Regional Development Director of BT Northern Ireland, will outline BT's plans to bring broadband to the Strabane area.

The Chamber say that bringing Dr Forsyth and Ms Greer to Strabane is: "A great opportunity to push the case for the speedy implementations of broadband in the Strabane area, and help redress the current position Strabane finds which itself is on the wrong side of the digital divide."

The introduction of broadband for Strabane and the area they say is "essential to attract future industry", as without it prospective investors could be put off from setting up in the Strabane area.

A broadband Internet connection delivers a range of benefits to businesses of all sizes, as well as the home user, including the faster exchange and retrieval of information over the Internet (up to 10 times faster), a convenient 'always on' Internet connection, and the ability to engage in e-commerce activities.

(GMcG)

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