I welcome recent announcements of further commercial investment in high speed broadband infrastructure by telecommunications operators. While I have not had direct engagement with either company, officials from my Department have met with representatives of these operators and have received high level presentations from both with regard to their commercial deployment plans. To date, neither operator has published, or provided my Department with, detailed commercial or technical plans identifying individual premises to be served.
In order for premises to be removed from the State intervention area, a commercial operator must make a submission to my Department outlining its plans and commitments to provide these premises with a high speed broadband service. This is consistent with the State aid rules applying to State interventions to ensure the availability of high speed broadband services. Any such submission must satisfy the criteria set down by my Department in the mapping process that was published in 2015 on my Department’s website, before the NBP procurement process commenced. Details of the mapping process are available at the following link
My Department monitors deployment of high speed broadband on an ongoing basis as part of the NBP and this monitoring continues in parallel with the NBP procurement process. In line with the process set out above, the NBP High Speed Broadband Map can be updated during the procurement, or following award of an NBP contract, to reflect new commercial plans, or to update areas where previous plans that have failed to materialise. This flexibility allows for an increase or decrease in the number of premises included in the State Intervention area.
The State Intervention area for the NBP procurement process, contains approximately 540,000 premises. This remains as set out on my Department’s High Speed Broadband Map, available at www.broadband.gov.ie.
The NBP procurement process is in its final stage and I intend to make a recommendation to Government in the coming weeks.