Written answers

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

National Broadband Plan

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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146. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the status of a broadband connection for a household (details supplied) in an amber zone in the national broadband roll-out plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38871/21]

Photo of Ossian SmythOssian Smyth (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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The Question refers to a premises located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department's website www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led intervention.

I appreciate people's frustration when they are living so close to a fibre network but cannot obtain a connection to that network, particularly given the heightened importance of connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NBP will ensure that in all such cases a future proofed high speed broadband network will be built to serve these premises and work to deliver on this is underway.

I am advised by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) that, as of 8 July, over 233,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. Surveys are complete or underway in County Cork in the areas of Midleton, Cullen, Templebreedy, Carrigaline, Ballyfoyle, Douglas, Ballyphehane, Glasheen, Mahon, Kilpatrick, Ballydesmond, Kiskeam, Umeraboy, Knocknagree, Rineen, Cullen, Coolinarna, Millstreet, Hollymount and Caherbarnagh. Main works are ongoing in Carrigaline, Fountainstown, Ballinhassig, Monkstown, and Upper Rochestown. Preworks are ongoing in Midleton.

The first fibre to the home connections are successfully connected in Cavan and in Carrigaline, County Cork. I am advised by NBI that, as of 8 July nearly 6,600 homes are passed and available for connection in Counties Cork, Cavan and now Galway. A further 13,000 premises can also pre-order via retail service providers (RSPs) in Counties Cork, Cavan, Galway and Limerick and get a connection in the coming months.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Cork 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. NBI has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, 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 8 July, 335 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. BCP’s are connected at Laharn Heritage Centre, Ballindangan Community Centre, Whitechurch Community Centre, Clogagh Community Hall, T.O. Park Labbamollaga, Bere Island Heritage Centre, Sherkin Island Community Hall (8.06km from premises), Glash Community Centre, Ballydaly Community Hall, Aubane Community Centre, Mealagh Valley Community Centre, Coláiste Phobal Cléire (1.64km from premises), Lissavard Community Centre, Aghabullogue Community Centre, and Castletownkenneigh Community Centre. Further details can be found at nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Ballycroneen National School and Clogagh National School have been installed by NBI for educational access. 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 nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.


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