Written answers

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Broadband Service Provision

Photo of Gabrielle McFaddenGabrielle McFadden (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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611. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the purpose of the national broadband plan team’s recent meeting with Center Parcs; the date of the meeting; if it will help accelerate the provision of high speed broadband in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43995/15]

Photo of Alex WhiteAlex White (Dublin South, Labour)
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In the last 18 months, the Department has received enquiries from a variety of owners and operators of small, medium and large scale (existing and proposed) leisure and other facilities. The nature of the enquiries has focussed mainly on the likely impact of roll-out of the Intervention Strategy on specific areas in Ireland. Officials from the Department facilitated a meeting request from Center Parcs on 14 October 2015 to discuss the likely provision of broadband in the Longford area. The meeting was held for information sharing purposes and will not have any direct impact on the roll-out strategy for the proposed State led intervention under the NBP.

The meeting afforded officials from my Department an opportunity to outline the scope and detail behind the National Broadband Plan (NBP), which encompassed both commercial investment and investment under the proposed State led intervention.

Representatives from Centre Parcs presented its proposed plans along with the likely demand for the provision on high quality broadband services in Longford to their proposed development.

More specifically I can confirm that high speed broadband has been extended to serve 7,100 premises to date in County Longford with a further 3,700 expected to be served over the next 18 months. The remaining 11,600 premises in county Longford will be covered by further commercial investment or the NBP intervention.

The Government is determined to ensure that the network is built out as quickly as possible and engagement with industry stakeholders has indicated that this could be achieved within 3-5 years of the contract award.

In this context, the NBP proposes that through the combination of commercial investment and State intervention, 85% of addresses in Ireland will have access to high speed services by 2018 with an ambition of 100% coverage by end of 2020.


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