Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (228)

Paddy McHugh

Question:

357 Mr. McHugh asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if a report has been prepared on the WLAN trials being carried out in Tuam, County Galway; if he has received the report and the subsequent actions required or being undertaken to allow for the provision of broadband in Tuam, County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3015/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

ESB telecommunications is currently undertaking a trial of powerline carrier technology in Tuam, County Galway. Powerline carrier technology harnesses existing ESB infrastructure to provide broadband Internet access. A home can receive high-speed Internet connections by simply plugging a computer into an electricity outlet. Broadband powerline carrier systems have the potential to provide an alternative broadband delivery infrastructure to local fixed telephony networks. While the powerline carrier technology is the main focus of the trial, the project is also adding a wireless local area network, WLAN, system to provide a link between the powerline system within the town and the Internet. It is expected that the trial will be completed by the end of April 2004. Subsequently, a report will be provided on the feasibility of this technology in providing broadband services in Ireland.