Written answers

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

National Broadband Plan

Photo of Aindrias MoynihanAindrias Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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177. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the measures that are being considered to address the issue of component shortages that may impact the delivery of the National Broadband Plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18034/22]

Photo of Ossian SmythOssian Smyth (Dún Laoghaire, Green Party)
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The Covid 19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of good reliable broadband to ensure that citizens in rural Ireland can have the high speed connectivity required to facilitate remote working and schooling.

While substantial progress has been made to date, the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the delivery of the fibre network leading to delays to the build programme. The full extent of this impact continues to be assessed and NBI has committed to put in place measures to mitigate the impact in as far as possible.

My Department asked NBI about mitigating potential impacts and NBI have said that they are implementing a number of measures to help lessen the consequences of these delays on the rollout. Such measures include:

- Increasing the rate of pole replacement and duct remediation per month;

- Bringing in additional NBI resources;

- Earlier procurement of materials used in the build stages;

- Bringing in additional subcontractors.

As a result of the earlier procurement of materials necessary to rollout the fibre network, NBI have not highlighted any immediate issues or shortages to date through their regular engagement with the Department in terms of the key components necessary for the rollout.

As a result of actions taken by NBI the project has been building momentum and an increasing number of premises passed are being recorded. This is expected to continue throughout 2022 and beyond although it is likely that the impact of Omicron will be felt in Quarter 1 of 2022 outturns.


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