Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (667)

Charlie McConalogue


667. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if funding will be made available to local communities to fund a feasibility study for a broadband solution (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9491/18]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The National Broadband Plan will deliver high-speed broadband to every premises in Ireland through a mix of commercial providers and a State intervention in those areas where commercial providers acting alone will not provide the service. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is currently engaged in a procurement process to identify a suitable provider of high-speed broadband services in the area identified for State intervention.

In advance of the procurement process being completed, the project referred to by the Deputy may be eligible under the LEADER programme which is managed by my Department and delivered through Local Action Groups in each of the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas around the country.  The LEADER programme funds projects under various policy themes, including rural broadband.

In order for a project to be eligible for LEADER funding, it must be compatible with the actions outlined in the approved Local Development Strategy in the sub-regional area concerned, and it must comply with the Operating Rules and EU Regulations in place for the programme. Further details are available from the LEADER Local Action Group in each area. Contact details for the Local Action Groups are available on my Department’s website at http://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/list-of-LAGs.pdf.