Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
National Broadband Plan
I understand that when a district is at survey stage the company will say that once a survey has been done, consumers in the district will get a connection within 18 months. However, if the Minister is revising the plan, it is important that we tie down the contractors to what will be done and when it will be done in years three, four and five. That needs to be done now so that there is certainty for the 500,000 households which are expecting broadband. These people have been told they will get it.
We hear about a shortening of the timeframe and I welcome that. It is good news that completion dates for years six and seven are being brought forward to years four and five. It is good news that we will get it all done in five years. Nevertheless, we should remember that we need to let people know. If I do not have fibre optic broadband in my house and, as it happens, I do not, I have to look at an alternative. I have to decide what to invest in and consider the duration for which I should enter into a contract with a satellite or other provider. The main point is that people need to have certainty.