Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (85)

James Browne


85. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for full implementation of the national broadband plan in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7398/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Government's National Broadband Plan (NBP) will deliver high speed broadband access (minimum 30 megabits per second) to 100% of premises in Ireland.

  Today 7 out of 10 of the 2.3 million premises in Ireland have access to high speed broadband. Since this Government came into office almost 400,000 additional premises have access to high speed broadband.  By the end of this year nearly 8 out of 10 premises and by 2020, 9 out of 10 premises will have access to a high speed broadband connection. This is being achieved via a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention.

There are just under 32,000 premises in County Wexford which do not currently have access to a high speed broadband connection. Of these, over 10,000 will receive a high speed broadband connection via commercial investment by the end of 2018 under eir's ongoing 300k rural deployment, while the remaining circa 21,500 will be served via the planned State led intervention.

My Department is in a formal procurement process to select a company who will roll-out a new high speed broadband network in the State intervention area. That procurement process is now at an advanced stage. The NBP procurement team in my Department will continue to engage intensively with all the relevant stakeholders in the process, including the sse/enet consortium which has reaffirmed its commitment to the procurement process.  My Department will continue to engage with the bidder to ensure the most efficient deployment as part of the contract. 

Based on the momentum of the eir rollout, I expect that the company that delivers the State led intervention, when it is up and running, can reach the vast majority of premises in the intervention area within 3 years of the commencement of rollout.

Delivering high speed broadband to every citizen in Wexford and every other county remains my firm commitment and that of the Government.