Thursday, 18 February 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
57. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which steps can be taken to rapidly improve the roll-out of broadband in towns, villages and rural areas throughout County Kildare, having particular regard to the increased demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9351/21]
The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract 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. A combination of commercial investment and the State led intervention will ensure access to high speed broadband in every part of the country and no-one will be left behind no matter how remote. The deployment Plan forecasts construction commenced 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.
There are a total of 95,188 premises in County Kildare of which 81,329 premises (85%) are served by commercial operators and 13,859 premises (15%) are in the Intervention Area.
I am advised by National Broadband Ireland that, as of 11 February 2021, over 174,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. Some 2,818 (20%) premises in the Intervetion Area have been surveyed in Co Kildare including in the areas of Killashee, Oughterard, Naas Rural, Rathmore, Kill, Kilteel, Carnalway, Gilltown, Ballymore Eustace, Bodenstown, Naas Urban, Newtown, Donaghcumper. Surveying is underway in the areas of Athy, Coneyboro, Aughaboura, Ballinapark, Castlemitchell, Bert, Kilberry and Kilkea, Leixlip, Celbridge and Maynooth.
Further details are available on specific areas within County Kildare 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 as works commence. I am advised that NBI is working to provide more detail on its website, with a rolling update on network build plans. NBI also has a dedicated email address, email@example.com , which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries.
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 11 February, 268 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 for publicly accessible sites and the Department of Education for school BCPs. In County Kildare, Lullymore Heritage Park is installed and Bigstone Community Hall is installed and connected. Further details can be found at .
Rathmore National School is installed by NBI for educational access as part of this initiative. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise 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 was announced in December 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 .