Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1029)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1029. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when broadband facilities will be extended to the Old Bog Road, Cappagh, Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13055/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

In April 2017 my Department published an updated version of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map. This is available at www.broadband.gov.ie. The Map shows the areas targeted by commercial operators to provide high speed broadband services and the areas that will be included in the State Intervention Area under the National Broadband Plan. The Map is colour coded and searchable by address/Eircode:

- The AMBER area represents the parts of the country where commercial operators have no plans to build high speed broadband networks. Premises in the AMBER area will be provided with high Speed Broadband through a State Intervention.

- The BLUE area represents those areas where commercial providers are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband services.

- The LIGHT BLUE area represents eir's commercial rural deployment plans to rollout high speed broadband to 300,000 premises as part of a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017.

The Old Bog Road lies predominantly within the townland of Cappagh. There are 65 premises in the townland of Cappagh. 56 (86%) fall within the AMBER area and will be served under the State led Intervention. 7 (11%) of premises are in a BLUE area and are or will be served by commercial providers, while 2 (3%) are LIGHT BLUE and fall to be served by eir's planned rural deployment.

Information on categories of specific premises can be accessed on my Department’s website, www.broadband.gov.ie, by entering the relevant Eircode into the High Speed Broadband Map. For those premises which fall within eir's commercial deployment to 300,000 premises further detail is provided on that company’s website, www.fibrerollout.ie.

The procurement process to appoint a bidder for the State intervention network is now at the final stage. I will bring a recommendation to Government in relation to the NBP in the coming weeks.

Under a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017, eir is in the process of passing 300,000 predominantly rural homes with high speed broadband. According to data for Q4 2018 submitted by eir to my Department the company has passed over 225,000 premises nationwide as part of its ongoing deployment.

Information on eir's rural deployment is available on that company’s website, http://fibrerollout.ie/Eircode-lookup/. A copy of the Commitment Agreement is available on my Department’s website, www.dccae.gov.ie.

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. 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.