Participation and the Practice of Rights 0

No One Left Behind - Internet Access for All

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Dear telecommunications industry CEOs,

The world has been fundamentally changed by the coronavirus outbreak.

One thing which has become evident during these troubling times is the absolute necessity of internet connectivity.

To adhere to social distancing an accessible and reliable internet connection is required to keep informed of guidance on how to stay safe, access public services, receive and spend money, communicate with family and friends, meet new people, care for the elderly, access mental health care, learn, collaborate, work, entertain and play.

The internet is our lifeline for social existence.

But it is not open and freely accessible.

  • Front-line workers carrying out essential services on low-incomes struggle to afford high speed connections
  • Rural communities live with the failure to develop broadband infrastructure and are forced to pay high tariffs for working and schooling at home
  • People in homeless accommodation are denied WiFi access
  • Asylum seekers are deprived the means to communicate with their loved ones in these worrying times

Internet access should be a fundamental human right, not a privilege based on income.

With your support, we can make it happen.

While medium term action is required to develop infrastructure to secure ultra-fast connectivity, immediate measures can be introduced by you to open up connectivity today.

During the Covid-19 pandemic time we all need to put our shoulder to the wheel and make available what resources we have to ensure that, together, we overcome this crisis and build infrastructure, public services and communities which are prepared to face future challenges.

We add our voices to those calling on you, as industry leaders, to work swiftly with Dáil Éireann and the Northern Ireland Executive to immediately open up all hotspots cost-free and to waive the prohibitive charges for households who are unable to access decent broadband connection.

We respectfully request a considered response via your social media and news section of your websites by Thursday 30th April at 12pm.


(See original letter in full at

Community and Voluntary Groups

Adam Turkington

Aideen Gilmore

Alicia Toal – Voice of Young People in Care

Andrew McCracken, CEO Community Foundation for Northern Ireland

Angus Lambkin – Consultant Humanitarian Planning for Emergencies

Annette Curley, Mental Health Charity Support Worker Galway

Ann Godfrey

Anne McVicker, Director Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Barry Murray, Turas na nDaoine

Bernadette McAliskey, Director South Tyrone Empowerment Programme

Brian Mac Domhnaill, National Federation of Group Water Schemes Monaghan

Charlie Fisher, Development Trust NI

Cherif Labreche, CEO New Communities Partnership

Chloe O’Malley, Community Activist Louisburgh Co. Mayo

Ciaran McClean, Chair Save Our Sperrins

Ciarán O Brien, Belfast Housing Action

Claudia Belloni, Co-ordinator Belfast Unemployed Resource Centre & North Belfast Friendship Club

Colum Benstead, Senior Social Worker, Childrens Safeguarding

Conchur O’Muadaigh, Bainisteoir Abhcóideachta Conradh Na Gaeilge

Collette O’Regan, LGBT Ireland

Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel

Dermot Devlin, My Way Access

Dermot Nelson, Addiction Services, Co. Cavan

Denise Charlton, Denise Charlton Associates

Denise Wright

Desy Jones, Counsellor

Ed Peterson, Chairperson Forthspring Inter Community Group

Ellen McNally

Emerge Counselling Services, Lisburn

Emma Cassidy, Public Interest Litigation Support (PILS) Project

End Deportations Belfast

Etain O’Kane, Therapy Belfast

Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, Stiúrthóir, Glór na Móna

Felicity Mckee, Disability Rights Campaigner

Frankie Quinn, Co-ordinator Éalú

Gerard McCartan, Chairperson Participation and the Practice of Rights (PPR)

Grian Ní Dhaimhín, Student Renters Group

Hugh Brennan, Director Ó Cualann Housing

James Orr, Director Friends of the Earth NI

John Dunbar, Chair Alternative A5 Alliance

John O’Doherty, Director The Rainbow Project

John Peacock, National Secretary YMCA Ireland

Josh O’Dowd, Sean Óg Le Cheile

Karen McGuigan, Suicide, Talking, Education, Prevention, Support (STEPS)

Kate Clifford, Director Rural Community Network

Kerry Melville, Belfast Food Network

Kyle Heffernan, Council for the Homeless Belfast

Laura Wright

Lilian Seenoi, Director North West Migrants Forum

Nicola Browne

Nigel McKinney

Mairtín Mac Gabhann, Cathaoirleach Loachra Loch Lao

Mary Ryan, CEO MACS Supporting Young People

Manus Maguire, Director Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum

Markets Development Association

Margaret O’Riada, Director Galway Travellers Movement

Margaret Walker, West Belfast Suicide Awareness

Oyedamola Bolajoko, Project Co-ordinator Sawa Womens Space

Padraig Bennett, Community Worker Co. Meath

Pádraic Mac Coitir

Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh, Gníomhaí Teanga Gaelphobal Ard Mhacha Theas

Patrick Yu, Executive Director Northern Ireland Council for Racial Equality

Pat Finucane Centre

Pilip Ó Ruanaí, TACA

Phillip McTaggart, Mindskills

Rachel Mullen

Rachel Powell, Women’s Resource and Development Agency

Rebekah McCabe

Ryan Doherty, Homeplus NI

Ryan McKinney

Refugees Welcome NI

Richard Higginson, Loveworks

Rory Doherty, Quaker Service NI

Sara Connolly, Homeless Services, Tallaght, Dublin

Sara Ferrigan, Clare Public Participation Network

Sarah Mason, CEO Women’s Aid Federation NI

Sister Maureen Lalley, CEO Tochar Valley Rural Community Network Mayo

Stephanie Leonard, Founder Act Build Change

Stephanie Mitchell, Director Belfast Friendship Club

Stephen Wood, Co-ordinator Tools for Solidarity

Stevie Nolan, Trademark

Susan McCrory, Director Falls Women’s Centre

Suzanne O’Brien Participation Officer EPIC – Empowering People in Care

The Lantern Intercultural Centre

Trade Unions

Caoimhín MacColaim, INTO Northern Committee Rep

Gerry Murphy, Northern Secretary of INTO

John Boyle, INTO General Secretary

Kevin Daly, INTO Northern Chairperson

Mary Magner, INTO President

Niall McCarroll, Derry Trade Unions Council and UNISON Community and Voluntary Branch

Taryn Trainor, Unite the Union



Dr. Brian Kelly, School of History, QUB

Dr Brigitte Anton

Professor Colin Harvey

Dr. Deena Haydon

Dr. Elizabeth McArdle

Goretti Horgan

Dr. Ionnis Tsioulakis

Professor John Barry

Professor John Pinkerton

Dr. Maria Pentaraki

Dr. Paula McFadden

Dr. Siobhan McAllister

Arts and Entertainment

Alan Braniff, Belfast Grime Man

Anne Devlin, Playwright

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, Stiúrthóir An Chultúrlann

Charlotte Dryden, Oh Yeah Centre

Colin Murphy, Comedian

Colum Sands, DJ and folk artist

Connor Kerr and Rebecca Clough, Another World Belfast

Daniel Jewesbury, Artist

Denis O’Hearn, Author

Declan McLaughlin, Singer/Songwriter

Damien Dempsey, Singer/Songwriter

Finn Kennedy – Theatre-Maker

Gareth Moore, Artist

Joby Fox, Singer/Songwriter

John Connors, Actor/Playwright/Director

Maria McManus, Poet

Mimi Turtle, CEO Strand Arts Centre

Niamh Flanagan, Director Theatre NI

Oliver Martin, Artcetera

Paula McFettridge, Artistic Director Kabosh Theatre

Peter O’Neill, Director Imagine Belfast

Robin Wilson, Author and Campaigner

Ruth Carr, Poet

Simon Magill, Creative Director The MAC

Sarah Clancy, Poet

Tim Brannigan, Writer

Vincent Higgins, Playwright/Actor


Ashleigh Galway, Principal Currie Primary School

Bronagh McVeigh, Principal St Vincent de Paul Primary School

Emer Hughes, Principal Our Lady’s Primary School

Emma Clarke, Acting Principal Wheatfield Primary and Nursery

Máire Uí Éigeartaigh, Príomhoide Bunscoil Bheann Mhadagáin

Pádraig Mac Cathail, Oideachasóir, Coláiste Feirste

Siobhan McQuaid, Principal Holy Family Primary School


Adam Ramsay, Open Democracy

Chris Donnelly, commentator

Craig Dwyer, For A Change

Daithí McKay - commentator

John Gibbons, Retired Producer

Marilyn Hyndman, NV Media Trust

Sean Murray Film Maker

Trevor Birney, Below the Radar, Fine Point Films, Meon Ellie, and The Detail

Tyler McNally, The Last Round


Barry Fegan, Clonard Monastery Youth Centre

Carmel O Connor, Talk About Youth Project Dublin

Eddie Burns Youth Leader in Charge St Malachys Youth Centre

Israel E Nogie, Diverse Youth NI

Mary Field, CEO Northern Ireland Youth Work Alliance

Niall Enright, Manager Upper Springfield Youth Team

Paddy Mooney, Director Include Youth

Philip Glennon, Head of Operations Northern Ireland Youth Forum

Sean Madden, Holy Family Youth Centre

Shane Whelehan, Director Ardoyne Youth Enterprise

Siobhan McKinley, Quakers Teen Project Belfast

Sinead Keane, BeLonG To Youth Services

Start 360 - Stephen Barr

Steph O Rourke, Springboard Opportunities – Director of Springboard Angila Chada

Thomas Turley, Ardoyne Youth Club


Árd Éoin GAC

Joe Gormley, Cliftonville Football Club Player

Mick Conlan, Boxer and Intercontinental Title Holder

Paddy Barnes, Ex-Pro Boxer and Olympic Medallist


Adam McCormick, Site Pastor Christian Fellowship Church Sign Language

Alister and Ruth Wallace, Site Pastor Christian Fellowship Church Antrim

Andrew Gibson, Site Pastor Christian Fellowship Church Holywood

Rev Brian Anderson, Superintendent East Belfast Mission

Rev David Campton, Superintendent East Belfast Mission

Rev Ivan Steen for Windsor Presbyterian Church, Belfast

David Smith, Head of Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance

Garath Baxter, Missions Pastor Christian Fellowship Church East Belfast

Laura Bell, Site Pastor Christian Fellowship Church South

Fr. Martin Magill

Owen Crane, Senior Pastor Christian Fellowship Church East Belfast

Thomas and Leanne Todd, Site Pastor Christian Fellowship Church Inner East


Ciaran Moynagh, Director Phoenix Law Human Rights Lawyers LTD

Daniel Holder, Deputy Director Committee for the Administration of Justice

Paddy Kelly, Director Children’s Law Centre


Emma Bricknell, Made in Belfast

John Dennehy, Founder ZARTIS

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