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National Broadband Plan

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 27 July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Questions (118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129)

Duncan Smith

Question:

118. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Kanturk area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40793/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

119. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Freemount area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40794/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

120. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Lismire area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40795/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

121. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Newmarket area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40796/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

122. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Cullen area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40797/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

123. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Millstreet area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40798/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

124. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Ballydesmond area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40799/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

125. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Kiskeam area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40800/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

126. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Charleville area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40801/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

127. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Castlemagner area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40802/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

128. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Banteer area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40803/21]

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Duncan Smith

Question:

129. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the roll-out of the national broadband plan in the Knocknagree area of north Cork as of July 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40804/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 118 to 129, inclusive, together.

The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) 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 the over 544,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along with 695 schools.

There are 274,505 premises in County Cork of which 194,836 are in the commercial area and 79,669 premises are within the NBP Intervention Area. I am advised by National Broadband Ireland that, as of 21 July 2021, over 236,000 premises across all counties have been surveyed. In County Cork, premises have been surveyed or surveys are ongoing in the areas of Midelton, Cullen, Templebreedy, Carrigaline, Ballyfoyle, Douglas, Ballyphehane, Glasheen, Mahon, Kilpatrick, Ballydesmond, Kiskeam, Umeraboy, Knocknagree, Rineen, Cullen, Coolinarna, Millstreet, Hollymount and Caherbarnagh. Main works ongoing in Carrigaline, Fountainstown, Ballinhassig, Monkstown and Upper Rochestown with pre-build works underway in Midleton.

The first fibre to the home connections are successfully connected in Carrigaline and Cavan. I am advised by NBI that, as of 21 July over 10,000 premises are passed in Counties Cork, Cavan, and Galway and available for order and pre-order. Of these 3,197 are in Cork. As the programme continues to build momentum this figure is expected to grow month on month. In total over 19,000 premises can pre-order via retail service providers (RSPs) in Counties Cork, Cavan, Galway and Limerick.

Kiskeam, Cullen, Ballydesmond, and Knocknagree are located in the Rathmore Intervention Area.  I am advised by NBI that surveys are currently complete in these areas. The area of Millstreet is covered by adjacent Intervention Areas of Carriganimmy and Rathmore; the areas of Kanturk, Castlemagner and Banteer are located in the Kanturk Intervention Area; the areas of Freemount, Lismire and Newmarket are located in the Meelin Intervention Area; and Charleville is located in the Charleville Intervention Area. Surveys are planned by NBI for these areas and they will be delivered with access to high speed broadband under the National Broadband Plan ensuring that no premises will be left behind

While substantial progress has been made to date, the Covid 19 pandemic has had an impact on the delivery of the fibre network resulting in delays on delivery of aspects of the programme. Impacts include challenges with mobilisation of key contractors with restrictions on operations, supply chain and logistic delays (both nationally and internationally), as well as the recruitment of key personnel as NBI and its contractors scale, up including challenges associated with on-boarding and training people. Inevitably, like many other organisations, NBI and contractor staff are at risk of contracting Covid 19 or may have to restrict their movements as a result of being a close contact posing further challenges. My Department has worked closely with NBI to put in place a remedial plan under the Contract to address the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic on the project.

Further details are available on specific areas within 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 when works are due to commence. I am advised that NBI plan to update their website with further details on the NBP rollout plan for all counties including Cork at the end of August.

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 21 July, 336 BCP sites have been installed by NBI and the high speed broadband service will be switched on through service provider contracts managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development for publicly accessible locations and the Department of Education for schools. BCPs installed with high speed publicly accessible broadband include Ballydaly Community Hall, Aubane Community Centre, Glash Community Centre, Mealagh Valley Community Centre, Clogagh Community Hall, Castletownkenneigh Community Centre, Aghabullogue Community Centre, Whitechurch Community Centre, T.O. Park Labbamollaga, Bere Island Heritage Centre, Sherkin Island Community Hall, Coláiste Phobal Cléire, Laharn Heritage Centre, Courtbrack Community Centre, Lissavard Community Centre and Ballindangan Community Centre.

Ballycroneen National School and Clogagh National School are installed 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 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 nbi.ie/primary-schools-list/.

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