Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1030)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1030. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when high speed broadband facilities will be offered to the residents of Smithstown, Kilcock, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13056/19]

View answer

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.

There are 27 premises in the townland of Smithstown. 18 (67%) fall within the AMBER area and will be served under the State led Intervention while 9 (33%) of premises are in a BLUE area.

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.

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.

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.