I propose to take Questions Nos. 11 and 13 together.
In respect of the two townlands referred to by the Deputy, according to my Department’s high-speed broadband map, available at www.broadband.gov.ie, the majority of the premises in the townlands of Graiguenamanagh and Urlingford in County Kilkenny are in the blue area. These areas of the map are where commercial operators are already delivering or have plans to deliver high-speed broadband services. In Graiguenamanagh, this includes some 461 premises, or 88% of those premises in the townland. In Urlingford 537 or 98% of premises in that townland are in a blue area.
The 60 remaining premises in Graiguenamanagh and 13 in Urlingford are in the amber area on the high-speed broadband map. Premises in this area will be provided with high-speed broadband through the State-led intervention. When this Government came into office, just 53% of premises in Kilkenny had access to high-speed broadband. When Eir's rural fibre deployment has been completed, 63% of premises in Kilkenny will have such access.
Practical initiatives will continue to benefit premises that are currently awaiting access to a high-speed broadband service, for example through the positive work of the mobile phone and broadband task force. The task force is working to address specific issues that are having an impact on the delivery of mobile phone and broadband services. It has overseen the delivery of a number of key solutions. Under the task force, engagement between telecommunications operators and local authorities through the broadband officers is continuing to strengthen. The broadband officers are acting as single points of contact in local authorities for their communities. The appointment of broadband officers is reaping rewards, for example by ensuring a much greater degree of consistency in engagements with operators and by clearing obstacles to the development of infrastructure. The Department of Rural and Community Development maintains a list of broadband officers, and a link to access this list is available on the website of my Department. As I explained to the House in response to earlier questions, the procurement process to appoint a bidder for the NBP State intervention network is now at the final stage. Evaluation of the final tender submission is ongoing and will be allowed the time required.