Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2284)

Fiona O'Loughlin


2284. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timescale for the broadband roll-out for County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34020/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Every home, farm, school and business in Ireland will have access to high speed broadband – no matter where they are located – following the Government’s decision of 7th May this year, to approve the appointment of a preferred bidder to the National Broadband Plan. Under this plan, Ireland will become one of the first countries in the world to ensure that those in rural areas have the same digital opportunities as those in urban areas.

Since December 2015, the number of premises with access to high speed broadband in Co. Kildare has increased by 10,409. In total, the number of premises in Kildare with access to high speed broadband is now 78,421, which equates to 84% of all premises in the county. Another 492 will be served by Eir under that company’s ongoing rural deployment of a high speed broadband network.

The remaining 13,956 homes, schools and businesses in Kildare will receive access to high speed broadband under the Government’s National Broadband Plan.

The Government Decision of 7 May 2019 means that it is intended to award the State Intervention contract to the Bidder subject to contract close and the finalisation of financial and legal requirements; this work is progressing. Deployment of the NBP State Intervention network will commence shortly after contract close.

The Bidder has indicated that the NBP State intervention will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.

A deployment plan will be made available by the Bidder once the contract is signed. 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 70,000-100,000 passed each year thereafter until roll-out is completed.