Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Broadband Service Provision

Photo of James BrowneJames Browne (Wexford, Fianna Fail)
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936. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the position regarding the provision of broadband for a person close to the area covered by Eir fibre broadband network (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6436/20]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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The government is committed to delivering high speed broadband to every home, farm, business and school in Ireland. It is vital that we ensure the people of rural Ireland have the same opportunities as the people in our towns and cities.

The Question refers 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 in November last with National Broadband Ireland (NBI). 

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. The NBP network will offer users a high speed broadband service with a minimum download speed of 150Mbps from the outset. By the end of next year, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. 

With regard to the fibre installation close the premises mentioned in the Question, 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 my Department in any capacity. The decision as to what areas and premises are served was made by eir internally and on a commercial basis. My Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that process.

To support remote working and connected communities, approximately 300 Broadband Connections Points (BCPs) are scheduled to be connected to high speed broadband this year. This will assist communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband in advance of the main NBP deployment.  The planned BCP locations, including schools, library hubs and local sports are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.broadband.gov.ie.  It should be noted that some BCP locations may be subject to change. 

These BCPs will leverage the high speed broadband connection through a range of measures and initiatives, for example providing free public Wi-Fi, 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. The BCP delivery project is well underway and surveying of the BCP locations is progressing, which will facilitate detailed design and installation.

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