Louise Coyle is the Director of Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network (NIRWN). She and her colleagues have been battling the digital divide to support women living in rural areas.

She said: “The #DigitalDivide has been a huge issue for our membership before the pandemic but has been exacerbated since. We all deserve digital inclusion.”

She was speaking following a call by the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland for the Stormont government to “address all the reasons behind digital exclusion in Northern Ireland.”

It has been announced that a £165m deal to improve broadband connectivity in Northern Ireland wouldl be “transformational” for people living in rural areas, according to the company chosen to carry out the work.

The contract for the upgrade work has been awarded by the Department for the Economy to broadband provider Fibrus.

The aim of the investment – known as Project Stratum – is to improve rural internet connectivity. About 76,000    premises are to benefit from full-fibre broadband access.

 
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