Written answers

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

National Broadband Plan

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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71. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when an area (details supplied) will be able to avail of e-fibre broadband. [53524/21]

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 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 get 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 27 October, almost 273,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed or have surveys underway and over 115,000 premises have build works currently underway. The first premises are connected in Cavan, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Monaghan. Surveys are complete or underway in County Westmeath in Mullingar, Sonna, Stonehall, Taghmon, Jamestown, Hopestown and Athlone. Pre-build works have commenced in the areas around Athlone and main build works have commenced in the areas around Mullingar. I am advised by NBI that it expects the premises referred to in the Question to be passed and available for connection in H1, 2022.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Westmeath 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. NBI has recently published details of its full deployment schedule on its website which enables all premises within the intervention area to have an anticipated service activation date range. Given the scale and complexity of delivery of the new high speed broadband network under the NBP, I am advised that any dates provided by NBI on its website are based on the best available information at the time and may be subject to change.

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 27 October, 386 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. BCPs are connected at Ballycomoyle GAA Club, Milltown Emper Community Centre, Whitehall Community Centre, Streete Parish Park & Community Hall, Castledaly Community Centre and Clonkill Hurling Club (4km from the premises referred to). Further details can be found at nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Scoil Náisiúnta Bhride, Naomh Micheal, Dalystown National School and Scoil Náisiúnta Aodha Naofa 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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