Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions (208)

Dara Calleary


208. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when premises that will be serviced by broadband connection points will be fully connected under the national broadband plan. [49398/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Government recognises the need to roll out high speed broadband as quickly as possible and is conscious that the full rollout of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) State intervention area will take a number of years.

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are locations of community importance across Ireland such as community centres, parish halls and schools. The BCPs have been specifically selected by the local authorities so that they can provide public Wi-Fi and other facilities to support mini digital/enterprise hubs to the local community in advance of the main NBP deployment. Approximately 300 Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) will receive an early connection in the roll out of the NBP.

Broadband Officers in each Local Authority were tasked with consulting with local communities and business to find the appropriate mix of locations to reap the maximum benefits.

All BCPs will have a free public Wi-Fi connection, others will have hot-desks, and some will be digital hub business centres where digital training, business information events, and other SME supports are organised.

It is anticipated that there will be between 7 and 23 BCP locations identified in each county and they will include 138 community centres, 14 tourism locations, 51 schools and three business parks.

Work will commence on the deployment of the Broadband Connection Points immediately. It is expected that 298 Broadband Connection Points will be established and providing a high speed broadband service by the end of 2020.

By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. NBI has indicated that the network rollout will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment. A deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly.