Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Questions (151)

Robert Troy


151. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Climate Action and Communication Networks when broadband will be rolled out in Kiladoran, Delvin, County Westmeath (details supplied). [24909/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Climate)

The Question refers to a premises which is located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (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 premises within the AMBER Area will be surveyed as part of the national fibre network rollout. These surveys are required to produce a detailed network design for the high speed fibre broadband network. This detailed design is then used to initiate the ‘make ready’ project with eir for the area, where eir ensure any poles and ducts being reused are fit for purpose, and is also used to initiate works with the subcontractors deploying the actual fibre in the area. The premises referred to is in an area where surveying is due to commence early next year. As of the 15 of September over 91,000 premises have been surveyed across 21 counties and detailed designs for laying fibre are also in process for areas throughout the country. NBI provides a facility for any premises within the AMBER area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website (https://nbi.ie/map/).

Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are a key element of the NBP, providing high speed broadband in every county in advance of the roll out of the high speed fibre network. Approximately 300 broadband connections points (BCPs) were identified by local authorities to be connected to high-speed broadband this year. The BCPs will help communities to quickly access free public high-speed broadband in advance of the main deployment under the National Broadband Plan. The planned BCP locations, including schools, library hubs, local sports facilities, and other public places are available to view on the High-Speed Broadband Map on my Department’s website www.broadband.gov.ie. Over 100 BCP sites, including one within 10 kilometres of the location referred to in Question, has been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on in these locations through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development. Another BCP site within 10 kilometres of the location is due to be installed in October.

While substantial progress has been made to date, the Covid 19 pandemic has had an impact on the delivery of the fibre network. The extent of this impact is currently being assessed and NBI has committed to put in place measures to mitigate the impact in as far as possible. The Covid 19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of good reliable broadband to ensure that citizens across Ireland can avail of remote working, education and other essential online facilities. This is reflected in the commitments in the Programme for Government where delivery of the National Broadband Plan will be a key enabler to many of the policies envisaged particularly around increased levels of remote working. The Programme for Government has committed to seek to accelerate the roll out of the National Broadband Plan. In this regard, my Department continues to engage with NBI to explore the feasibility.