Thursday, 12 December 2019
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
National Broadband Plan Implementation
306. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when broadband will be provided to the greater Ballinagore area, County Westmeath (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52472/19]
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 businesses and farms, along with 695 schools where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.
The Deputy's Question relates to a premises which is located in the AMBER area on the NBP High Speed Broadband Map, which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed on 19 November with National Broadband Ireland (NBI).
Work has already begun and a deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. All counties will see premises passed in the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.
Approximately 300 Broadband Connections Points (BCPs), including schools, library hubs and local sports halls in every county in Ireland, will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband. The BCP locations are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.dccae.gov.ie.
The BCPs have been specifically selected by the local authorities so that they can provide public Wi-Fi and other facilities to support mini digital/enterprise hubs to the local community in advance of the main NBP deployment. Broadband Officers in each Local Authority were tasked with consulting with local communities and business to find the appropriate mix of locations to reap the maximum benefits.
All BCPs will have a free public Wi-Fi connection, some will also have hot-desks, and some will be digital hub business centres where digital training, business information events and other SME supports are organised. 12 BCPs are planned for deployment in Westmeath and they are:
- Ballycomoyle GAA Club, Robinstown, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, N91VY92
- Castledaly Community Centre, Kilcleagh, Castledaly, Co. Westmeath, N37YF54
- Clonkill Hurling Club, Clonkill, Monilea, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, N91HX78
- Dalystown National School, Dalystown, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, N91W207
- Milltown Emper Community Centre, Sean Doolin Park, Milltown, Rathconrath, Co. Westmeath, N91VA06
- Moyvoughly Community Centre, Moyvoughly, Co. Westmeath, N37FW50
- Rahugh National School, Rahugh, Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath, N91XF20
- Saint Michael’s National School, Castletown Lower, Finea, Co. Westmeath, N91FN29
- Scoil Bhríde, Emper, Ballynacargy, Co. Westmeath, N91PP71
- Streete Parish Park & Community Centre, Kilmore, Streete, Co. Westmeath, N91RC43
- The Downs National School, Greatdown, The Downs, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, N91T229
- Whitehall Community Centre, Whitehall, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, N91T85V
By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. NBI has indicated that the network rollout will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.
With regard to the fibre installation close to the premises referred to by the Deputy, eir’s rural deployment of high speed broadband is a commercial undertaking and not part of the planned State Intervention network. It is not funded by the State and is not planned, designed or directed by the Department in any capacity. The decision as to what areas and premises are served was made by eir internally and on a commercial basis. The Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that process.