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-led 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 roll out high-speed broadband to 300,000 premises as part of a Commitment Agreement signed with my Department in April 2017.
There are 16 premises in Laragh, Co Kildare. 31% (5) fall within the AMBER area and will be served under the State-led Intervention. 69% (11) of premises are in a LIGHT BLUE area and fall to be served by eir's rural deployment.
For those premises in the Amber or State intervention area, this intervention is the subject of the procurement process to engage a company to build, operate and maintain the NBP State intervention network. Following rigorous evaluation by my Department, I recently brought a recommendation to Government to confer Preferred Bidder status on Granahan McCourt, the remaining bidder in the NBP procurement process and Government agreed to this at its meeting on 7 May.
The Government Decision means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to Granahan McCourt, subject to the completion of the final contract arrangements. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after that.
The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.
In the first year of roll out, the Bidder will deploy approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) across all counties. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county. BCPs will provide a community-based high-speed broadband service, enhancing online participation and allowing for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations. The Bidder is aiming to pass 133,000 premises at the end of the second year, with 70-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll out is completed.