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Ireland's National Broadband Scheme (NBS) is set to help improve internet access in Donegal and the local economy, it has been claimed.

According to economist Jim Power, the northernmost county has not only poor broadband availability, but the lowest disposable income per person across Ireland at 16.6 per cent below the national average.

Speaking to the Donegal News, he claimed that by providing next-generation broadband, the NBS will provide a boost to the county's competitiveness.

"High speed and affordable broadband has become an essential business tool and can no longer be regarded as a luxury service," Mr Power stated.

"It is a very important business tool as it connects businesses to each other, both within the host country of the business and externally. From a societal point of view, broadband facilitates better communication, particularly in rural areas."

Last month, David Parlby, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, told the Herald that high-speed internet was "crucial" to the economic prosperity of the city.

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