Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (192, 193)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

192. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the monitoring undertaken of the roll-out of broadband in the DARK BLUE areas of the national broadband plan map; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41429/18]

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Timmy Dooley

Question:

193. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the deadline for the roll-out of broadband to the DARK BLUE areas of the national broadband plan map; if a previous deadline was in place; if this deadline was reviewed; the reason for the review; the changes to each deadline put in place since publication of the map; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41430/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 192 and 193 together.

My Department engaged in an extensive mapping exercise during 2013 and 2014 to determine the extent of existing and planned high speed broadband networks in Ireland. The aim was to identify premises which were not, or would not in the near future, be commercially served with high speed broadband. Based on this work, a High Speed Broadband Map was published in December 2015. The latest version of this map is available at www.broadband.gov.ie.

The AMBER Area of the Map represents the parts of the country where commercial operators had no plans to deliver high speed broadband services. This is the State intervention area, and delivery of high speed broadband will be achieved through the State Intervention.  The procurement process to appoint a company to build, operate and maintain a network in the intervention area is now in its final stages.

The BLUE area of the Map represents the parts of the country where commercial operators are delivering or have indicated to my Department that they have plans to deliver high speed broadband services.

My Department also published a process document which set out that the Map may be subject to change if, for example, anticipated commercial deployment failed to materialise or if new plans were presented to the Department and satisfied the criteria as set out in that process document.

Since December 2015 my Department has continued to monitor the progress of the rollout of high speed broadband for all operators who were included in the BLUE Area on the Map.

Through direct engagement with operators and further investigation of specific issues, in April 2017 my Department identified 84,500 premises in the Blue Area that were not being served with high speed broadband and these premises were then included in the State intervention area.

My Department continues to actively monitor high speed broadband rollout by commercial operators. I have advised previously that people who are experiencing difficulty in receiving a high speed broadband service within BLUE areas should notify my Department in this regard. I continue to invite members of the public to highlight issues regarding broadband connection in BLUE areas by contacting the NBP customer service team at broadband@dccae.gov.ie, or on 01 678 2160.