The national broadband plan State-led intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland under a contract to roll out a high-speed and future-proofed broadband network within the intervention area, which covers 1.1 million people living and working in over 544,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms, along with 695 schools. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, National Broadband Ireland has made steady progress on delivery of the new high-speed fibre network under the national broadband plan. I am advised by National Broadband Ireland that as of 27 May, over 220,000 premises have been surveyed across all counties.
This survey work has enabled detailed designs to be developed for each deployment area. The detailed designs are then used to initiate the so-called make ready project with Open Eir, whereby Open Eir ensures that any poles and ducts being reused are fit for purpose and makes ready other required infrastructure. This step also informs decisions on equipment ordering. Survey data are also needed to initiate pre-works, which pave the way for the deploying of fibre. Pre-works involve the construction of new duct routes, the erection of poles, the building of chambers and tree trimming.
On completion of these pre-works, the main construction works can commence.
The first fibre-to-the-home connections have been successfully connected in Carrigaline, County Cork, and Cavan, with almost 4,000 premises passed and available for connection to date. Premises in Galway and Limerick are expected to be available for connection in the coming months. I am advised that build works are continuing across the country in 12 deployment areas covering townlands in Carrigaline, Ballinasloe, Cavan, Clare, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary, Tralee, Wexford and Carlow. In addition, make ready work is under way in a further 15 deployment areas.