Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (930)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

930. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the location fibre broadband has been installed in a rural area of County Kerry (details supplied); when the connection of broadband to a house in the area will continue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6170/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The government is committed to delivering high speed broadband to every home, farm, business and school in Ireland. It is vital that we ensure the people of rural Ireland have the same opportunities as the people in our towns and cities. The Question refers to a premises which is located in the AMBER area on the NBP High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department's website at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed in November last with National Broadband Ireland (NBI). 

All counties will see premises passed in the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years. The NBP network will offer users a high speed broadband service with a minimum download speed of 150Mbps from the outset. By the end of next year, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. 

While I note that fibre installation is taking place close to the premises referenced in the Question, eir’s rural deployment of high speed broadband is a commercial undertaking and not part of the planned State Intervention network. Decisions as to what areas and premises are served were made by eir on a commercial basis and my Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that process.

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.