Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
National Broadband Plan
252. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress expected in rolling out the national broadband plan in 2021 throughout County Cavan; the areas that will benefit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44411/20]
253. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress expected in rolling out the national broadband plan in 2021 throughout County Monaghan; the areas that will benefit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44412/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 252 and 253 together.
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract signed in November 2019 to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the over 544,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools. In County Cavan, there are 42,250 premises of which 16.242 (38%) are within the intervention area for the National Broadband Plan. In County Monaghan, there are 33,404 premises of which 15,282 (46%) are within the intervention area. The deployment plan forecasts premises passed in all counties within the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State having access to high speed broadband within the next four years.
I am advised by NBI that, as of 11 December 2020, over 149,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed which is ahead of the full year survey target of 120,000 that had been projected by the company. Surveys have been completed in County Cavan in the areas of Ballinagh, Corlurgan, Araghan, Poles, Caughoo, Belturbet, Killashandra and Butler’s Bridge. Build works have commenced outside Cavan town including at Ballinagh, Corlurgan, Araghan, Poles and Caughoo. Surveys have been completed in County Monaghan in the areas of Cornacassa, Cortolvin, Ballybay and Stranooden. Other areas due to commence include Mullinahinch, Bellanode, Drumhilock, Tydavnet, Cloughnart, Scotstown and Killymarley.
I am advised that NBI is targeting the following indicative dates for further surveying in Cavan and Monaghan within the next 18 months.
|No. of Premises||Timelines||Monaghan |
|No. of Premises||Timelines|
|Kilnaleck||3,161||2021 Q4||Emmyvale||1,551||2021 Q2|
|Cootehill||3.709||2022 Q2||Clones||1,870||2021 Q2|
Surveying is the first step towards delivering the new fibre network and involves physically walking the routes and documenting images, notes and measurements of the poles, cables and underground ducts in each area. This informs design solutions for provision of the fibre network to each and every premises in the surveyed area and leads to detailed designs. The detailed designs are then used to initiate the ‘make ready’ project with Open eir for the area, where Open eir ensure any poles and ducts being reused are fit for purpose and the make ready of other required infrastructure. This step also informs decisions on equipment ordering. Survey data is also needed to initiate pre-works which pave the way for the deploying of fibre. Pre-works involve construction of new duct routes, erection of poles, building chambers, and tree trimming. On completion of these pre-works, the main construction works can commence. This involves deploying fibre overhead on poles and in underground ducts, splicing of fibre, and unblocking of ducts. Once the main construction works are completed and the appropriate level of testing has been undertaken, the fibre network can be commissioned and end users can order their connection.
Further details are available on specific areas within Cavan and Monaghan through the NBI website which provides a facility for any premises within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website www.nbi.ie. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises when works are due to commence.
I am aware that concerns have been raised regarding the level of information available on the deployment of the NBI network and I am advised that NBI is working to provide more detail on its website, with a rolling update on network build plans.
Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the fibre to the home network. As of 14 December, 221 publicly accessible BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Gallonray House Gallonreagh Maudabawn, Kildallan Parish Hall, Killenkere Leisure Centre, Castle Saunderson Scout Centre, Bunnoe Community Centre, Drumavaddy Community Centre, Templeport Community Centre, Cornafean Community Centre, Mullahoran Community Centre and Glengevlin Community Hall are BCPs which are now installed by NBI in Co. Cavan. A further BCP at Castlerahan Community Centre is now installed and connected. Corduff Community Centre, Tannagh Outdoor Education Centre, Corcaghan Community Centre, Carn Resource Centre, Mullyash Community Centre, Monaghan GAA Centre of Excellence are installed by NBI in Co. Monaghan with Saint Alphonsus Community Hall, Ballybay Wetlands and Latton Resource Centre installed and connected. Further details can be found at .
Drumgossatt National School in Co Monaghan is connected for educational access as part of this initiative. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise other schools with no high speed broadband, within the intervention area for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan has just been announced which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. Further details are available on the NBI website at .