On foot of a commitment given in reply to Parliamentary Question No 17 of 22 July 2020, my Department communicated with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment in relation to hedge cutting in the context of the National Broadband Plan (NBP).
I understand from that Department that the NBP Project identifies where tree trimming may be required through site surveys and that such tree trimming will not be carried out until the deployment stage as premises are being passed with fibre, within the periods allowed, avoiding the bird nesting period, etc. Conducting the surveys in advance means that National Broadband Ireland ( NBI), who were awarded the contract for the NBP can identify roadways, lanes and so forth where trimming is required to lay the fibre and plan well ahead, scheduling these works to coincide with the period where tree trimming is allowed. At the same time, I understand from that Department that while tree trimming may arise in a very limited number of cases, it is not typically needed for a connection as the fibre can often be threaded through overhanging trees. Nor is this matter viewed as in any way impeding the rollout programme.