Written answers

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

National Broadband Plan

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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34. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 229 of 10 November 2020, if the national broadband plan will bring high-speed broadband to locations (details supplied) in County Dublin. [39086/20]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The locations referred to in the Question are located in the BLUE area on the NBP High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department's website at .

BLUE areas are not included in the State intervention area covered by the National Broadband Plan as commercial operators are already providing high speed broadband or have indicated future plans to do so. My Department defines high speed broadband as a connection with minimum speeds of 30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload. The activities of commercial operators delivering high speed broadband within BLUE areas are not planned or funded by the State and my Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that regard.

Our investigations indicate that high speed broadband should be available over the eir network at this location.

Darren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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36. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which it is planned in Ireland to meet the target of a society (details supplied) of all European households having access to 100 Mbps connections by 2025 given the fact that the national broadband plan is limited in its areas of intervention; the specific interventions that will be made in non-intervention areas; the details of the stakeholders responsible to deliver on the 2025 target; the plan they are working to; the progress being made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39124/20]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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As set out in the Programme for Government, ensuring access to high-quality connectivity for people across Ireland is essential to the development of all parts of our country, socially and economically.

A key principle of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) is to support and stimulate commercial investment in telecommunications infrastructure. Since the publication of the NBP strategy in 2012, the commercial telecommunications sector has invested over €3 billion. This was primarily on upgrading and modernising networks which support the provision of high speed broadband and mobile telecommunications services. Today over 1.78m or 75% of premises in Ireland can access commercially available high speed broadband services. At end Q2 2020, fixed broadband subscriptions had increased to 1.49million, an increase of 3.4% compared to the same period in 2019. Of these, over 200,000 were fibre to the premises subscriptions, representing 13.5% of total fixed broadband subscriptions, reflecting an increase of 8.8% when compared to the same period in 2019.

Furthermore, and in respect of commercial development, eir has indicated that it is currently delivering fibre to the home services to 576,000 premises and have announced plans to increase this coverage to approximately 1.8 million homes over a 5 year period; SIRO has already passed over 340,000 premises with fibre to the home and plan to provide coverage to 365,000 by the end of this year; and Virgin Media now provides high speed broadband to almost 1million premises and are continuing to expand its services.

Significant additional investment is expected over the coming years which, in addition to the rollout of the NBP, will ensure that Ireland continues on an upward trajectory in terms of the high speed connectivity necessary to support the continued development of our digital economy and society.

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