NORTH Antrim MP Ian Paisley Junior is calling for better broadband services on Rathlin Island.
Speaking at Westminster, he asked Owen Paterson: “Come to Rathlin Island - the situation there is absolutely abominable. It is an island off an island that requires reliable broadband so that people who require medical scripts can get them quickly. I hope that he rolls out the new broadband service across the whole of the UK, including Ulster and Rathlin Island.”
Owen Paterson replied: “I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for inviting me to Rathlin Island. He will be pleased to know that I was there a few months ago, in my previous post.
“It has the most wonderful puffin reserve, which is well worth visiting. He touched on health, which is an important element. We all think about the business angle, but there are real advantages in delivering health care in rural areas.
“Another key element is helping elderly people, for whom it is a boon, when they are isolated, to be able to contact their relations, shop online and stay in touch with the real world.”
After the debate, Mr Paisley said: “It is absolutely vital that our counterparts on Rathlin are not forgotten about when it comes to rolling out effective broadband services across the country.
“I will continue to pursue in Parliament what I believe is an issue of utmost importance and we must strive to ensure that Rathlin has the best connectivity possible if they are to prosper and develop moving forward.”