Thursday, 4 February 2021

Questions (5, 11, 12)

Thomas Gould

Question:

5. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the timeline for roll-out of the national broadband plan in Donoughmore, County Cork [6085/21]

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Pat Buckley

Question:

11. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the reason for the delay in delivering broadband to all households and businesses on the island of Cobh; the timeframe for the full roll-out of broadband services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6131/21]

View answer

Pat Buckley

Question:

12. Deputy Pat Buckley asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications when households and businesses in broadband intervention areas in east County Cork will be guaranteed proper broadband services such as Conna, Fermoy and Mallow hinterlands, County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6133/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 5, 11 and 12 together.

The Questions refer to areas which are located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department's website 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.   

I am advised by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) that, as of 26 January 2021, over 166,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. There are some 79,424 premises located in the Intervention Area in County Cork of which 16,132 have been surveyed. Surveys have been completed in Midelton, Cullen, Templebreedy, Carrigaline, Ballyfoyle, Douglas, Ballyphehane, Glasheen, Mahon and Kilpatrick, with surveys underway in Ballydesmond, Kiskeam, Umeraboy, Knocknagree, Rineen, Cullen, Coolinarna, Millstreet, Hollymount and Caherbarnagh. Pre-build works are underway in  Fountainstown, Ballinhassig, Monkstown, and Upper Rochestown. The first fibre to the home connections are successfully connected  in Carrigaline and construction work is continuing with significant technical testing and validation taking place prior to wider release of the area.

Further details are available on specific areas within County Cork 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 advised that NBI is working to provide more detail on its website, with a rolling update on network build plans. NBI also 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 30 January, 178 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 connected in Cork are Ballindangan Community Centre (in the area of  Fermoy), Aghabullogue Community Centre (in the area of Donoughmore), Castletownkenneigh Community Centre, Lissavard Community Centre, Whitechurch Community Centre and T.O. Park Labbamollaga (in the area of Fermoy). Further details can be found at https://nbi.ie/bcp-locations/. 

Clogagh and Ballycroneen National School will be provided with high speed broadband for educational use through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Education 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 the schools aspect of the project was announced late last year and 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/.