Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
National Broadband Plan
81. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of premises that will have broadband installed under the National Broadband Plan by county; the percentage of these homes that have been surveyed to date; the percentage of these homes in which broadband has been installed under the plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28227/21]
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 546,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools. 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. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, NBI has made steady progress on delivery of the new high speed fibre broadband network under the National Broadband Plan. I am advised by NBI that, as of 20 May 2021, over 218,000 premises across 26 counties have been surveyed.
A breakdown of the premises in the intervention area by county and surveys undertaken to date is set out in the table below. The breakdown in the table reflects 215,000 surveys completed as this is the latest available analysis.
|COUNTY||number of premises in the IA||surveys completed||% surveys completed|
82. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his Department has had engagements with satellite companies on broadband connectivity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28228/21]
Providing telecommunication services is a matter for the relevant service providers operating in a fully liberalised market regulated by the Commission for Communication Regulation (ComReg), as independent Regulator. As set out in the Programme for Government, ensuring access to high-quality internet connections for people across Ireland is essential to the development of all parts of our country, socially and economically. I recognise how vital telecommunications services are to citizens for so many aspects of their daily lives, including remote working, studying and staying in touch with family members during the Covid-19 crisis. My Department engages with operators regularly, including those providing broadband, mobile and or satellite services on a range of issues. My Department keeps appraised of new developments in the sector through numerous bilateral meetings, public consultations and a range of industry fora, including fora with satellite operators. Satellite operators and their representative groups consistently make submissions and share their views to European led fora (for example the Radio Spectrum Committee and Radio Spectrum Policy Group) and the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) where the Department participates. In tandem with these European engagements, the Department regularly meets satellite operators where specific national activities or issues are of relevance.
Any increased competition in the market can only bring benefit to consumers, so as to ensure that in an increasingly connected world, nobody is left behind.