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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 January 2021

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Questions (75, 76, 77, 78)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

75. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the provision of fibre broadband to a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4437/21]

View answer

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

76. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the provision of fibre broadband to a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4438/21]

View answer

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

77. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the provision of fibre broadband to a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4439/21]

View answer

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

78. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of access to fibre broadband at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4440/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 to 78, inclusive, together.

The High Speed Broadband Map, which is available at www.broadband.gov.ie, shows the areas which will be included in the National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led intervention as well as areas targeted by commercial operators. The map is colour coded and searchable by address and Eircode.

- Premises in the AMBER area will be provided with high speed broadband through the State led Intervention, the contract for which was signed in November last with National Broadband Ireland (NBI).

- The BLUE area represents those areas where commercial providers are either currently delivering or have plans to deliver high speed broadband services.

The Questions refer to premises located in the Amber area and one premises located in the Blue area. BLUE areas are not included in the State intervention area covered by the NBP as commercial operators are already providing high speed broadband or have indicated future plans to do so. My Department defines high speed broadband as a connection with minimum speeds of 30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload. The activities of commercial operators delivering high speed broadband within BLUE areas are not planned or funded by the State and my Department has no statutory authority to intervene in that regard. Notwithstanding this, our investigations show that the premises referred to in the BLUE area is located between the network coverage area of an eir exchange for copper based VDSL services and the start of a 300k ribbon. As a result, my Department has escalated the query with eir requesting them to clarify the availability of high speed broadband at the premises.

I appreciate people's frustration when they are living so close to a fibre network but cannot get a connection to that network, particularly given the heightened importance of connectivity during the Covid-19 pandemic. The NBP will ensure that in all such cases a future proofed high speed broadband network will be built to serve these premises and work to deliver on this is underway.

I am advised by NBI that, as of 15 January 2021, over 161,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. Surveys in County Kerry have been completed in Townlands around Killarney including Muckross, Fossa, Kilcummin, Lissivigeen, Ballycasheen, Faha, Firies and Ballyhar, and in Townlands around Tralee including Curraheen, Abbeydorney, Kilflynn, Firies, Castlemaine and Ardfert. Further details are available on specific areas within County Kerry through the NBI website which provides a facility for any premises within the intervention area to register their interest in being provided with deployment updates through its website www.nbi.ie. Individuals who register with this facility will receive regular updates on progress by NBI on delivering the network and specific updates related to their own premises as works commence. I am aware that that NBI is working to provide more detail on its website, with a rolling update on network build plans. NBI has a dedicated email address, reps@nbi.ie, which can be used by Oireachtas members for specific queries.

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 fibre to the home network. As of 10 January, 243 publicly accessible BCP sites have 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. BCP’s are installed Gneeveguilla (Tureencahill), Railway Station Heritage Centre and Community Space, Inch Community Centre and Kielduff Community Centre, Cillín Liath. BCPs are installed and connected at Cable Station and Chapeltown. Further details can be found at https://nbi.ie/bcp-locations/.

Boheeshil National School, Dunloe Upper and Coars National School are installed by NBI for educational access as part of this initiative. My Department continues to work with the Department of Education to prioritise schools with no high speed broadband, within the intervention area, for connection over the term of the NBP. In this regard, an acceleration of this aspect of the National Broadband Plan was announced in December which will see some 679 primary schools connected to high speed broadband by 2022, well ahead of the original target delivery timeframe of 2026. Further details are available on the NBI website at https://nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.

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