Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (424)

James Lawless

Question:

424. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the progress expected in 2018 in the upgrade of the broadband telecommunications infrastructure for homes along the R157 from Maynooth, County Kildare (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40890/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

Premises along the R157 fall into the AMBER and BLUE categories on the High Speed Broadband Map, available at www.broadband.gov.ie. The specific premises referenced by eircode in the Deputy's question falls into the AMBER area on this Map. The BLUE areas represent those premises where commercial operators are already delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband.

The AMBER areas represent the target areas for the proposed State led Intervention under the NBP and are the subject of an ongoing procurement process. My Department received the Final Tender submission from the bidding consortium on 18 September 2018. This is a significant milestone as the NBP procurement process enters its final stage. 

For those premises currently awaiting access to high speed broadband, practical initiatives will continue to be addressed through the work of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce to address obstacles and improve connectivity in respect of existing and future mobile phone and broadband services.

Under this Taskforce, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through the Broadband Officers is continuing to strengthen.  These Broadband Officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities.  The appointment of these officers is already reaping rewards in terms of ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements with operators and clearing obstacles to developing infrastructure. The Department of Rural and Community Development maintain a list of Broadband Officers, a link to which is available on my Department's website at www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/communications/topics/Broadband/national-broadband-plan/Pages/NBP-Information-Leaflets.aspx.