Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (977)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

977. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his views on a matter regarding broadband provision in an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4259/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) contract was signed with National Broadband Ireland (NBI) in November last to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools.

The area referred to in the Question has premises which are located in the Amber, Blue and Light Blue areas on the High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department’s website at www.dccae.gov.ie. The Amber area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention. Premises in the Blue area are already served by commercial operators or will be in the near future and premises in the Light Blue area will be served as part of eir’s ongoing rural fibre deployment.

Deployment activities related to the National Broadband Plan (NBP) are continuing, in line with the advice provided by Government and the HSE during the Covid-19 event, and key mobilisation and design activities continue to be progressed.

By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000-100,000 passed each year thereafter until the rollout is completed. Further information on deployment activities is available on NBI’s website (www.nbi.ie) and potential customers for High Speed Broadband within the AMBER area can now record an expression of interest through the NBI website to receive updates on progress with the roll out.

To support remote working and connected communities, approximately 300 Broadband Connections Points (BCPs) are scheduled to be connected to high speed broadband this year. This will assist communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband, in advance of the main NBP deployment. The planned BCP locations, including schools, library hubs and local sports are available to view on the High Speed Broadband Map on the Department’s website www.broadband.gov.ie. It should be noted that some BCP locations may be subject to change.

These BCPs will leverage the high speed broadband connection through a range of measures and initiatives, for example providing free public Wi-Fi, some will also have hot-desks, and some will be digital hub business centres where digital training, business information events and other SME supports are organised. The BCP delivery project is well underway and surveying of the BCP locations is progressing which will facilitate detailed design and installation.