The Minister for Communications has said that Ireland will be the first country in the world to bring high-speed broadband to every single home, writes Eleanor Burnhill.
Denis Naughten was speaking during Dáil statements on the national broadband procurement process.
Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly said she was not convinced by his faith in the sole bidder for the National Broadband Plan, enet.
She said that Ireland was ranked 62nd in the world for average mobile download speed and 81st for upload speed at the end of 2017.
It was ranked 42nd in the world for average fixed broadband download speeds in the second half of 2017 and 59th for uploads, placing it between Cambodia and India, she added.
Minister Naughten said that some colleagues disagree with the Government's approach but he said the primary objective is to bring high-speed broadband to every home, community, business and farm in Ireland.
He said he appreciated the frustration expressed and he knew himeself of the huge potential of rural Ireland.
Mr Naughten said this frustration was compounded by the fact that some people are getting high-speed broadband and the agreement that he had tied eir into was delivering to about 300 farms a week and 40,000 premises every single quarter.
He said it was frustrating for people to see their neighbours getting this while they were left with nothing at all.
But he said that, in tandom with this agreement, there are ways to encourage the roll out of wireless broadband, 3G and 4G broadband in the short-term.
In relation to mobile broadband, Minister Naughten said this was a sticking plaster and he said this was not good enough for rural Ireland.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said it would make sense to go with an electricity wire rather than a telephone wire as a point of entry to the house for broadband.
But acting chair Bernard Durkan said the deputy was speaking out of order.
Fianna Fáil's Lisa Chambers called for additional leeway to be given to people who wanted to speak on this issue and asked for the minister to stay for these contributions.
But Deputy Durkan said: "If we start doing that we will bring the house into disrepute as we'll have to do that for everybody."
Social Democrats leader Catherine Murphy said she had been told her name was on a list to speak and Fianna Fáil's Stephen Donnelly also objected.
But Deputy Durkan pointed out there had been nobody in the house before the minister gave his concluding remarks and this was the bottom line.
Independents4Change Mick Wallace suggested TDs lobby to get back in on this issue next week.