Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (71)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

71. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the role the broadband connection points will have in the provision of high speed broadband during year one of the national broadband plan State intervention deployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21483/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

My Department recognised the need to roll out high speed broadband as quickly as possible. When my Department conducted its mapping exercise in 2014 the consultation documents listed some examples of potential connection points in local communities. This principle was incorporated into the procurement process. These key locations in rural communities will be connected with high speed broadband in year one of the NBP State intervention deployment while waiting for the wider deployment to reach their area. These locations are called Broadband Connection Points (BCPs).There will be approximately 300 nationwide. It is anticipated that between 7 and 23 BCPs will be deployed in each county, to provide a community-based high speed broadband service in year one of the National Broadband Plan State intervention deployment. BCPs will facilitate enhanced online participation and allow for the establishment of digital work hubs in these locations.

All BCPs will also provide free Wi-Fi access to communities. Some locations will also have additional facilities, such as hot-desking. The BCPs should also be used as hubs to support local economic and social initiatives and will form an important element of the local digital strategy developed by local authorities to increase adoption and usage of digital technologies by businesses and communities throughout Ireland.

Locations for the BCPs have been identified by local broadband officers and include schools, businesses, tourism locations, community centres and sports clubs.