Thursday, 18 April 2013

Questions (169)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

169. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his views regarding fibre optic broadband (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18216/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Ireland’s telecommunications market has been fully liberalised since 1999 in accordance with the requirements of binding EU Directives. The market has since developed into a well-regulated market, supporting a multiplicity of commercial operators, providing services over a diverse range of technology platforms. Details of broadband services available in each County, including County Kerry, can be found on ComReg’s website at www.callcosts.ie.

The State can only intervene to ensure access to broadband services in areas where the competitive market has failed to deliver such services, as in the case of the National Broadband Scheme (NBS) and the Rural Broadband Scheme. NBS services are available within 85 of the 166 Electoral Divisions in County Kerry, including the general area of Waterville. I have attached a list of these Electoral Divisions.

With basic broadband services widely available across Ireland, the focus is now on accelerating the roll out of high speed services. The Government’s National Broadband Plan, which I published in August last, aims to radically change the broadband landscape in Ireland by ensuring that high speed services of at least 30Mbps are available to all of our citizens and businesses, well in advance of the EU’s target date of 2020, and that significantly higher speeds are available to as many homes and businesses as possible.

During the preparation of Ireland’s National Broadband Plan, the commercial market operators indicated that they expect to provide 70Mbps to 100Mbps services to 50% of the population by 2015. Since the publication of the Plan, investments by the commercial sector are underway in both fixed line and mobile high speed broadband services, particularly in urban and semi-urban areas.

The Government is also committed in the Plan to investing in areas where high speed services are not commercially viable and will not be provided by the market. In an important milestone towards delivery of this commitment in the Plan, my Department has identified, following the evaluation of tender responses to a request for experts, the preferred bidder to assist in the design, planning and procurement of the State-led investment. Intensive technical, financial and legal preparations including stakeholder engagement will be ongoing throughout 2013 with a view to the launch of a procurement process in 2014. High-speed broadband services can be delivered by a diverse range of technology platforms and it is intended to adopt a technology-neutral approach in this procurement process.

Through the implementation of the National Broadband Plan, we are committed to increasing the availability of next generation speeds significantly, with a view to ensuring that all citizens and businesses can participate fully in a digitally enabled society. I would reiterate that the Government remains committed to ensuring that all parts of Ireland, including all of County Kerry, will have at least 30Mbps connectivity, through public or private sector investment, as outlined in the National Broadband Plan.

Electoral Divisions (ED) Covered by the NBS in County Kerry

ED Name

ED Reference No.

AGHADOE

ED 77002

ARDEA

ED 77006

BAHAGHS

ED 77009

BALLINSKELLIGS

ED 77011

BALLYBRACK

ED 77013

BALLYDUFF

ED 77016

BANAWN

ED 77026

BOOLTEENS

ED 77031

BRANDON

ED 77032

BREWSTERFIELD

ED 77033

BROSNA

ED 77034

CANUIG

ED 77037

CAPPAGH

ED 77038

CARKER

ED 77039

CARRAGH

ED 77040

CASTLEGREGORY

ED 77043

CHURCHTOWN

ED 77047

CLOGHANE

ED 77048

CLOON

ED 77050

CLOONTUBBRID

ED 77051

CLYDAGH

ED 77052

COOLIES

ED 77053

COOM

ED 77054

CORDAL

ED 77055

CRINNY

ED 77056

CURRAGHBEG

ED 77057

CURRAGHMORE

ED 77058

DARRYNANE

ED 77060

DAWROS

ED 77061

DEELIS

ED 77062

DERREEN

ED 77063

DERRIANA

ED 77064

DOOCARRIG

ED 77066

DROMMARTIN

ED 77069

DROMORE

ED 77070

DUAGH

ED 77071

DUNQUIN

ED 77073

DUNURLIN

ED 77074

EMLAGH

ED 77075

FLESK

ED 77077

GLANBEHY

ED 77078

GLANLEE

ED 77079

GLANLOUGH

ED 77080

GLANMORE

ED 77081

GLIN

ED 77082

GNEEVES

ED 77083

ED Name

ED Reference No.

GREENANE

ED 77084

HEADFORT

ED 77087

INCH

ED 77088

KERRYHEAD

ED 77090

KILCUMMIN

ED 77092

KILFEIGHNY

ED 77093

KILFLYN

ED 77095

KILGARRYLANDER

ED 77096

KILGARVAN

ED 77097

KILGOBBAN

ED 77098

KILLINANE

ED 77105

KILMALKEDAR

ED 77108

KILMEANY

ED 77109

KILMURRY

ED 77110

KILNANARE

ED 77111

KILQUANE

ED 77112

KILSHENANE

ED 77113

KNOCKNAGASHEL

ED 77118

KNOCKNAHOE

ED 77119

LACK

ED 77120

LACKABAUN

ED 77121

LICKEEN

ED 77124

LOUGHBRIN

ED 77130

LOUGHCURRANE

ED 77131

MARHIN

ED 77132

MASTERGEEHY

ED 77133

MAUM

ED 77134

MILLBROOK

ED 77135

MOUNT EAGLE

ED 77139

NEWTOWNSANDES

ED 77142

NOHAVAL

ED 77143

RATHEA

ED 77147

RATHMORE

ED 77148

ROCKFIELD

ED 77150

ST FINAN'S

ED 77154

TAHILLA

ED 77156

TEERANEARAGH

ED 77159

TRIENEARAGH

ED 77162

VENTRY

ED 77166