Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
National Broadband Plan
386. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the engagements of his Departmental officials with Transport Infrastructure Ireland on planning and road opening licences for the roll-out of the national broadband plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15708/21]
My Department has not been involved in detailed discussions relating to the roll-out of the broadband plan but is aware that there is significant engagement between the Local Government Management Agency and National Broadband Ireland.
More generally, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has participated, along with my Department, in the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce Implementation Group since the inception of the Taskforce in 2016. In that time TII has undertaken a number of actions to enhance the use and availability of its motorway ducting to telecoms operators. This included the installation of ducting on sections of motorway where no ducting previously existed (in most cases due to the fact that the motorways had been constructed prior to the decision to install ducting as a general design provision on motorways). The installation of ducting in gap sections has ensured the availability of continuous ducting on the M7 between Kildare and Limerick and on the M8 between Portlaoise and Cork.
As an action from its involvement in the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskgroup, TII has also upgraded its standards to provide for the installation of ducting in the verges of all new road schemes – not only motorway sections.