Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1209)

Timmy Dooley

Question:

1209. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which the national broadband plan is a different type of proposal to another project also named the national broadband plan in view of his comments of 2 April 2019; when these changes took place; when they were announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18453/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) aims to ensure high speed broadband access to all premises in Ireland, regardless of location. This is being achieved through a combination of commercial investment and a State led intervention. The NBP has been a catalyst in encouraging investment by the telecoms sector. In 2012, less than 700,000, or 30% of all 2.4 million Irish premises had access to high speed broadband. Today, 74% of premises can access high speed broadband.

In 2014 a solution which would have involved the provision of fibre backhaul to 1,100 villages around Ireland was initiated. This proposal would not bring connections to any premises, or build the local network from which premises would later be connected. This solution was of a very different scope from that which ultimately evolved to deliver the National Broadband Plan. I believe the Deputy is referring to this proposal.

An updated National Broadband Plan strategy document was published in December 2015 and a procurement process was launched with the aim of bringing High speed broadband to every premises in the Intervention Area.